NEWS
Monday September 9 2019
Rossi: I was Barca-bound...

Giuseppe Rossi claims he was Barcelona-bound in 2011, Inter are Juventus’ biggest challengers and Rocco Commisso is ‘serious’ about Fiorentina.

Rossi scored 32 goals for Villarreal in 2010-11 and was heavily linked with Barca the following summer, but Inter new boy Alexis Sanchez - then of Udinese - ended up moving to Camp Nou instead.

“Lukaku works the attack by himself but plays for the team,” continued the former Italy striker to Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Conte demanded him for his CV: he scores goals in every way, he knows how to do everything.

“I’ve met him, he’s a splendid lad and he talked to me in Italian. Alexis Sanchez is good but I don’t know him that well, even if I almost always beat him at football ping-pong...

“I reminded him in Manchester that he went to Barcelona thanks to me. They tried to sign me in 2011, but Villarreal refused their offer and they didn’t want to sell me, so [Barca] went for him instead.

The 32-year-old was then asked about the title race in Italy, with Antonio Conte now in charge at Inter.

“Serie A’s interesting, it’s already been seen this season that Juventus can get into trouble, when it didn’t seem possible before.

“I’ve also seen very strong, solid Inter, Conte has already given them an excellent base to work with. He knows what he’s doing.

“He’s a Coach who brings points and he’s not banal. He makes an impact on his surroundings and the players; heads: when you’re with him you train differently.

“Performances are a consequence. For me, it’s a shame never that I’ve never been coached by him.

“At the beginning of his tenure with Italy I was injured, he came to Florence to talk about me with Montella. He waited for me.

“For the Scudetto there’s also Napoli. but I believe Inter will finish between them and Juve.”

There is another Italo-American taking Serie A by storm in Commisso...

“Commisso lives in New Jersey, a 15 minutes’ drive from my home. I met him at the end of July, he and his entire group: they’re serious people, their transfer campaign proved it.

“As for Chiesa, my advice for him is not to be influenced by all the talk: football is supposed to be fun.”

Finally, Rossi shared his thoughts on Italy’s revival under Roberto Mancini.

“It was said some time ago that Italy should be entrusted to young players, and here we are.

“In the dugout we have Mancini, who’s the perfect Coach to let them grow. We’re strong, but the worst thing is to believe that we are.”