Monday November 18 2013
Rossi 'worked well with Balo'

Giuseppe Rossi was happy with his first Italy goal in over two years and the partnership with Mario Balotelli.

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“Of course I’m happy with the goal and the team’s overall performance,” he told Rai Sport after a 2-2 friendly draw with Nigeria.

“It’s a shame we conceded those goals when we appeared to be in control. We can go home happy with this game.

“More than the goal, it’s the performance that counts. We all worked very hard to honour this jersey and I think that’s what we did.”

This was Rossi’s first Azzurri goal since June 2011, as he was out for two years with a series of knee injuries and missed the 1-1 draw with Germany due to tonsillitis on Friday.

“It was nice to see the affection from my teammates. We have a great group of players and we’re all friends off the field too, so these are good foundations to build on.

“We have many great strikers, so any of them can play up front for Italy. The important thing is to give 100 per cent whenever we’re called upon.

“I never gave in and still have objectives to achieve, which I am slowly going through and hope to eventually get them all.”

Some have said the pairing with Balotelli is Good Cop, Bad Cop.

“We’re two good guys! We get on well, as does everyone in the squad. In all honesty, there wasn’t much time to prepare for this game. We did well, Mario gave me a great assist for the goal and played very well, so I’m happy for him. His goal will come as long as he keeps working like this.

“I was ill with a sore throat and fever, so I only managed to train for two days during this get-together.”

Cesare Prandelli said Fiorentina star Rossi was a hybrid between Roberto Baggio and Gianfranco Zola.

“I have a long, long way to go! I remember the 1994 World Cup well, though I was seven years old. Who do I base myself on more? I have no idea.”

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