Del Neri tribute to Sampdoria star Cassano

After clinching Champions League qualification, Sampdoria coach Gigi del Neri says any lingering rift with Antonio Cassano is now over.

Del Neri caused controversy at one stage by freezing Cassano out of the squad for over a month.

He said: “Last night we talked for almost an hour, just us. It has always been a strong rapport and he accepted all decisions, albeit not always happy about it.

“He had this time out and returned to being a great player who can make the difference for a team. Cassano is a fantastic player that many clubs would like.”

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