Donadoni: I won't treat Cassano like a Martian
© Getty Images

Roberto Donadoni will not treat the controversial Antonio Cassano like "a Martian", but he expects the forward to make the most of his time at Parma.

The Gialloblu coach spoke of his excitement at landing the former Roma and Real Madrid player from Inter Milan on a two-year deal but, somewhat inevitably, he has been forced to answer questions about the Barese forward's troubled history.

I'm sure he knows that this is a key moment in his career and that he cannot afford to fail.
Roberto Donadoni on Antonio Cassano

Cassano saw his spells with Real, Sampdoria and Inter cut short due to unsavoury disputes with coaching staff and, while Donadoni will not treat the 31-year-old with kid gloves, he wants the Italian media to forget the past and focus on the 35-times-capped Italy international's contribution in front of goal.

Donadoni told La Repubblica Sport: "This is a subject that annoys me quite a bit. When people talk about Antonio they always say that he needs to be managed, almost like he's a Martian.

"He's a professional like all the others, and I'm sure he knows that this is a key moment in his career and that he cannot afford to fail.

"The most important thing is that he doesn't have any regrets about the past, but that he stays grounded and focuses on our ambitions for the present and future."

Donadoni keeping ambitions realistic
Donadoni feels the wave of enthusiasm felt around the Stadio Ennio Tardini could possibly boost the Ducale club towards another European campaign.

Parma were a regular feature on the continent around the turn of the century - winning the UEFA Cup in 1999 - but administration and subsequent relegation in recent years have left them struggling to regain their former standing in Serie A.

"We are staying down to earth," Donadoni said. "We know which path we want to go down, but it's easier to make claims than to keep promises. Let's stay realistic and try to make as few mistakes as possible."