Tuesday March 29 2011
Rossi sees new Azzurri generation

Giuseppe Rossi was pleased to see so many of his old Under-21 teammates progressing to the senior Italy squad.

The average age of the line-up this evening was 26, compared to the 29 that went to the 2010 World Cup.

“There's always been a good connection with (Sebastian) Giovinco and we also had (Riccardo) Montolivo, (Alberto) Aquilani and (Antonio) Nocerino from the Under-21 side,” he said of tonight's 2-0 friendly win in Ukraine.

Rossi got the opening goal in Kiev in the style of a poacher, but also wasted a promising opportunity when he didn't pass to Claudio Marchisio.

“Was it a Paolo Rossi style goal? Yes, I like that. On the counter-attack I was trying to skip the last defender, it went badly, never mind.”

This week Coach Cesare Prandelli said that Rossi is not incompatible with Antonio Cassano, while he can also play alongside Giovinco.

“Both players are very talented and I get along with everyone, so it's not an issue for me. Perhaps I feel that I am a second striker more than anything else, as I like to get hold of the ball. That is how I play at Villarreal in a 4-4-2.”

The Italian-American has been the centre of transfer rumours recently, although none of them back in Serie A.

“Barcelona or Tottenham? No, I'm thinking of Villarreal.”

Italy were also boosted by news that the other two Euro 2012 qualifiers ended in draws, so victories against Estonia and the Faroe Islands could essentially secure their passage to the finals.

“The next two games are crucial and we can get six points. We always play to win anyway, even if we have a five-point lead.”

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