Former footballer Antonio Cassano has been hospitalised with COVID-19 after testing positive at the end of 2021. The 39-year-old Italian is not vaccinated, as his family have confirmed.
The 39-year-old represented Roma, Sampdoria and Real Madrid, among other clubs, during his playing career and also made 39 appearances for Italy, scoring 10 goals.
According to local media, Cassano was checked into San Martino hospital in Genoa on Wednesday with COVID-related complications.
Cassano spent the final days of 2021 and the first few of 2022 in isolation at home, as his wife, water polo player Carolina Marcialis, confirmed on social media, but he has now been transferred to hospital for treatment as his condition has deteriorated dramatically in recent hours.
The 2001 and 2003 Serie A Young Footballer of the Year began his career at Bari, coming through the youth system and making his senior debut with his hometown club before completing a big-money move to Roma in 2001, aged 19.
In January 2006, Cassano became just the second-ever Italian to play for Real Madrid. Injury and off-field issues plagued his time at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, however, and he left in the summer of 2007, initially on loan, having made just 29 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring four goals.