Friday November 15 2013
Rossi – a player Italy need

After missing out on the last two major tournaments, will Brazil 2014 finally provide the stage that Giuseppe Rossi deserves to be playing on? Alex Mott writes.

Major international tournaments have been something of a bête noire for Giuseppe Rossi. After 17 goals in all competitions for Villarreal in 2009-10, the striker was cut from Marcello Lippi’s Italy squad on the eve of the World Cup in South Africa.

Two years later, in his push to make the 2012 European Championships, Rossi injured his anterior cruciate ligament for a second time. As he told Fox Sports this month: “During my recovery from the first knee injury, I thought a lot about the future and I thought about being at the Euros and I paid the price. I learned that I need to go step by step in the future.”

After recovering from two career-threatening injuries and three difficult surgeries, the 26-year-old is back and playing some of the best football of his career. Eleven goals in 12 Serie A games this term have seen the Azzurri international go straight to the top of the Capocannoniere charts and return to Cesare Prandelli’s national squad.

Illness may see him miss the friendly with Germany on Friday, but if this form continues, it seems likely that Rossi will be seriously pushing for a starting shirt at the World Cup. The goalscorer, however, is trying not to think about being on the plane to South America next summer.

“It's a dream for all of us,” he admitted. “But I've learned to take things day by day, so I don't want to think too far ahead. I want to think about today's training for now, these matches, and Fiorentina. I can think about the World Cup later on. I hope I'm in great form when the call-ups are made.”

The former Manchester United man can probably afford to forget about a holiday in 2014 though. In a free-wheeling Fiorentina side, whose attacking creativity has been lauded across the continent, Rossi has been the outstanding player. With big-money man Mario Gomez missing through injury, it has been left to the American-born attacker to put the finishing touches to the Viola’s moves – and he has done so with aplomb.

His hat-trick against fierce rivals Juventus in October was the undoubted high point, but match-winning strikes against Catania and Sampdoria have gone a long way to the Viola’s current fifth placing in the Serie A standings.

“It's a very important year for me,” he added. “I'm starting over from zero, as a new player. It's a new League for me, and I have a lot of things to learn with a new Coach and new teammates. But so far it's been a good start.”

Gomez declared to reporters in October that his forward partner was “one of the best strikers in the world” and has just “been unlucky with injuries”. And with Mario Balotelli struggling in an average Milan side, it could be left to Giuseppe Rossi to lead the line for Italy at Brazil next June – something his undoubted talent is worthy of.

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Have your say...
Where are the great blogs?? What's happening football italia?? No real mention of the Italy vs. Nigeria game, no blog about the WC draw?
on the 8th December, 2013 at 3:01pm
Italy need Rossi because he can finish off all Italy's good moves n score....simple!.Italy have so many gifted attacking player's as regards creating n setting chances up but few who actually put the ball in the net.Yes on the plus side he is a hard grafter and due 2 missing previous tournaments he will be extra motivated.
on the 28th November, 2013 at 1:47pm
Viktor doesnt know anything about football. He thinks being able to name a few players means hes an expert of all things football.
Well wake up call viks you dont know anything.
on the 24th November, 2013 at 2:23pm
Rossi + another striker combo, Lolotelli is holding him back.
on the 20th November, 2013 at 2:36am
Having De Rossi and Rossi back against Nigeria will make a big difference, I think playing De Rossi in front of the defence gives us far more security. If it wasn't for the fact Bardi is such a big part of under 21 squad I think he would have been called up by now. After WC I hope he is called. He has in general been great for Livorno and really impressed me in euro 2013. He is a real prospect. Berardi looks great, but its important he is given time to grow, hopefully in Di Biagio squad soon.
on the 16th November, 2013 at 8:47pm
Even though Cesare is playing more of an attacking game we still aren't scoring enough goals and are conceding just as many. Its the individual errors that are most worrying, Bonucci is awful. I think Ogbonna should play a lot more, there is a lot more to come from him. The more time he has at Juve the more he will grow and develop. I hope Sirigu gets a run out against Nigeria, not a big fan of his but Cesare needs to give other keepers a run out with WC nbexy year.
on the 16th November, 2013 at 8:40pm
Pinturicchio07, good points! Perhaps my favourite thing about Rossi is that he is a constant menace to the opposition. So many of our players have a tendency to take their foot off the gas & be on the periphery of games. Sam, good points about our defending, (more colander than catenaccio these days), but in CP's defence (sorry), he is playing a more attacking game than his predecessors, & doesn't have the likes of Cannavaro, Nesta, to choose from. Our full backs are not great defenders either.
on the 16th November, 2013 at 7:40pm
Daniel if available Carlo Ancelotti would be my first choice. Antonio Conte would be great but that's unlikely. Can anyone tell me the last time we didn't concede a goal because of a cock up in defense. Its sad to think of all the options we have in both midfield and particularly in attack yet in defense we are so limited on the talent we have.
on the 16th November, 2013 at 6:54pm
There is no emphaisis on defense with Cesare. Never have we leaked so many goals, I would hate to count the amount of goals we have conceded over Cesare time in charge. We have always won world cups based on having a great defense, built from the back. You score 3 and we ll score 4 doesn't win tournaments. As a big Roma fan under zeman I should know. We don't have anything like the quality defenders of the past therefore we need to give the defense more protection and leave them less exposed.
on the 16th November, 2013 at 6:51pm
@ Daniel Giambrone:

I can explain why La Nazionale needs Beppe, but by the time I come to the gist of my explaination, I'm already like over the stinkin' character limit.... As a precis: he's purely left-footed; he can gel well and play alongside Balotelli and he can play as a left wing forward if need be, in a formation where Balotelli can be played as the lone forward - where we have to pack our midfield (4-3-LWF-RWF-Balo).... The explanation isn't over, but the character limit is....
on the 16th November, 2013 at 3:08pm
Sam, do you really want CP to go? Despite being a bit miffed with some of his decisions, I still like him, & feel that we have come a long way since 2010. I feel like there is no grey area with our team. We'll either do really well, or we'll fail miserably at the WC. The seeding situation could really hurt us. Whoever is in charge, it is unlikely that we will be happy with all their choices. Who would you replace him with?
on the 16th November, 2013 at 12:28pm
A decent showing, considering the team selection. I don't think that Italy should play with two centre-forwards. I'd rather see Rossi & Insigne or Candreva playing just in behind Balo; with free roles. Germany had more control in the middle, despite Italy having more central midfielders. This tends to happen when Marchisio plays. I would drop him & play Monty in his preferred deeper position.
on the 16th November, 2013 at 12:16pm
Pinturrichio07, you're digging a deeper hole for yourself. You
put forward an 'attacking' line-up, & also mentioned two formations. You didn't say why Italy need Rossi, you just said where he can slot in. Yes, i am now being anal, like you were in your 1st post. Just don't call people idiots for going off-topic. So tell me why you think that he is "vital". Perhaps you may agree with my 2nd post?
on the 16th November, 2013 at 12:06pm
Italy are missing a player who has good ballcontroll, movement and good ending ability. Osvaldo is more targetman etc.. Balotelli is little bit on and off. But when he's at his best, no one can take him out. Guiseppe Rossi is not different than Iniesta and David Silva, but Rossi is attacker. Italy miss that "Del Piero" guy, and Rossi is the correct! I just waiting at Rossi will develop more in Fiorentina, and he and Balotelli can shot Italy to the final in World Cup Brazil 2014!
on the 16th November, 2013 at 11:40am
He's better than Oscaldo.
on the 16th November, 2013 at 10:19am
@Daniel Giambrone:

I didn't discuss lineups, I elaborated, as an addendum to this article, whether I think Beppe is vital to Squadra Azzurra's chances in WC 2014, and why I think so, with options.... You notice I didn't speak of defenders or midfielders, just players who'd be compatible with / can play with Beppe ?? Yeah, it's okay, I don't expect every commenter here to understand the difference....
on the 16th November, 2013 at 9:21am
Unbelievable comments.....Balotelli & Rossi (providing there both on form) will be the best strike partnership in the world cup next year, and compliment each other massively. As for for the Cesare comment that is ridiculous. He has completely transformed La Nazionale with attractive football which has provided results and solid foundations for next year. Italy, for sure, will be a major force next year and will be feared among all the other sides. have faith my friends and support
on the 16th November, 2013 at 9:13am
Is Monty wearing some sort of cloaking device the stops CP from seeing how crap he is - get rid.. Bring back Cassano now. Buffon should've stopped the header his positioning lately is wrong.

I'm off to see Italy vs. Nigeria on Monday, fingers crossed for a better display.

Forza Azzurri
on the 16th November, 2013 at 8:44am

Being a "pretty devoted milan fan" dont make you a footballexpert.
Perhaps allegri should have got a few points more out of the sqauad But it's really to Week to get higher then 6-7 in the table and that isn't allegris fault.
The sqauad was Week last year to and shouldnt get in to the champions leuge if it wasent because of some referees that wanted to reward milan with this gift
on the 15th November, 2013 at 11:03pm
what a disgrace to see osvaldo wearing the number 10 jersey!! unbelievable.
on the 15th November, 2013 at 10:30pm
I don't know how cp can leave out Cassano! The way he and Rossi combined during the qualifiers for the last euro's was world class! Balo, if on form just in front could be very dangerous!
on the 15th November, 2013 at 9:47pm
Crap first half, if it weren't for the post and crossbar and some near misses Germany would be out of sight. Usual cock ups in defense and like Daniel says a poor line up. We need Chiellini, Ogbonna and really missed DE ROSSI in first half and also Rossi and Cassano. Rossi is world class just needs to stay fit. Balo is way out of form and Osvaldo has done nothing in the first half. Our defense is awful. We will go out early in Brazil, just hope we get rid of Cesare.
on the 15th November, 2013 at 8:41pm
@ Daniel Giambrone

Marchisio performs when deployed correctly. Marchisio quality has never been a doubt. But Prandelli keeps filling him in different roles for certain matches and some people see him ineffective, but he actually does what the caoch wants him to do.

Take him out, and you will observe something is wrong.
on the 15th November, 2013 at 6:16pm
Pepe & Quagliarella are the players to pick for the world cup, not Osvaldo, Gilardino, Shaarawy, etc.
on the 15th November, 2013 at 6:12pm
Pintturicchio, you call people idiots for discussing line-ups/formations on this page & then go on to talk about line-ups yourself?! Lol

Anyway, there isn't a place on this site to talk about CP's plans for tonight & so that is why I chose to do it here. People digress on these forums all the time, it's no big deal. Perhaps it is time for FI to provide a comments section under every news story?!
on the 15th November, 2013 at 4:48pm
@Juve fan

No he's not, ALLGERI is THE reason for our horrendous start. Believe me, I'm *pretty* devoted to Milan. I should know.

Don't be a hater.
on the 15th November, 2013 at 3:19pm
Typical idiots on this blog talking of Balotelli and Cesare's team-formation against Germany on a blog specifically written to praise Beppe....

As for my 2 cents, I think it's vital for Azzurri in World Cup 2014 that Rossi stays fully fit throughout this season and, assuming he's in-form, gets picked.... Beppe with Balo in a 4-3-1-2 or with Cerci/Candreva/Giaccherini on the right wing, with Beppe on the left wing supporting Balo in the centre in a 4-3-3 would be very good for La Nazionale....
on the 15th November, 2013 at 2:46pm
Rossi is a must! Not only is he a terrific footballer, he also has great determination & work-rate, which is very useful when you want to defend from the front & press the ball. I still cannot forgive Lippi for not taking Rossi & Cassano to the WC in 2010. With those two, we would definitely have gotten out of our group & then who know's what may have happened.
on the 15th November, 2013 at 2:19pm
Really not happy with CP's starting 11 tonight. Balo:off-form & not fully fit; Osvaldo: hasn't played well since his days under Zeman; Monty not playing at last seasons standards & has never convinced me playing behind the strikers. Worst of Marchisio. He rarely shows up for Italy. When he plays, it is like watching a leaf blowing across the pitch: he is ineffective & too timid. He does have some decent skills but doesn't push himself enough and take the game by the scruff of the neck.
on the 15th November, 2013 at 2:14pm
Balotelli is THE reason milan are an average side. Poor footballer with a shocking price tag draining resources from other areas of the squad
on the 15th November, 2013 at 11:47am

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