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World Cup 2014

Rossi left off Italy World Cup squad

Giuseppe Rossi of Italy

By RYAN TOLMICH

Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi has been left off of Italy’s 23-man roster for the 2014 World Cup.

The New Jersey-native was in the process of returning from a right knee injury that kept him out from January until early May. Rossi played 71 minutes during the Azzurri’s friendly with the Republic of Ireland Saturday, but apparently failed to make enough of an impact. Concerns over his fitness continued after Saturday’s performance, leading to manager Cesare Prandelli’s choice to go with Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne in Rossi’s stead.

Prior to his injury, Rossi lead Italy’s Serie A with 14 goals in 17 matches.

Rossi’s 2014 World Cup exclusion is the latest blow to the 27-year-old’s dream of appearing for Italy on the biggest stage.

The forward was among then-head coach Marcelo Lippi’s final cuts for the 2010 tournament in a decision the Italian coach has since admitted was a mistake. Rossi will now have to wait for the 2018 tournament, which will come a few months after his 31st birthday.

Joining Rossi on Italy’s cut list are forward Mattia Destro, midfielder Romulo and fullbacks Manuel Pasqual and Christian Maggio. Midfielder Ricardo Montolivo will also miss the chance to go to Brazil after suffering a broken tibia in his left leg in Saturday’s friendly.

Here’s a closer look at Italy’s 23-man roster for the 2014 World Cup:

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Mattia Perin (Genoa), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint-Germain).

Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Gabriel Paletta (Parma).

Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).

How do you feel about Rossi’s exclusion? Is he one of Italy’s 23 best players?

Share your thoughts below.

85 comments
    • futbolisimo

      Que lastima… he was the smartest player on the field this Sat when they played Ireland…

      Like

    • chg

      Better for the future of our national team if Rossi never plays in a WC. If there is another top-level American prospect with Italian parents, we can use Rossi’s story to try to keep the kid from playing for his dad’s country.

      Like

      • futbolisimo

        And what’s his story? He would have been injured regardless of what national team he chose to play for… a talent like Rossi isn’t going to languish is a mediocre league like MLS…

        Like

      • Joamiq

        He would have already been a WC veteran by now had he chosen the US.

        Like

      • Maykol

        So if you play for your other country besides the US, you will be plagued by injuries?

        Like

      • Cylo

        He wasn’t plagued by injuries in the 2010 WC which he would have easily made the US team. He picked Italy cause he wanted to play for a world power in the WC. Nothing wrong with that except he hasn’t been in 1 WC and has one more chance. So in other words HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

        Like

      • Bobert

        No

        But his injury wouldn’t have prevented him from playing for the U.S

        He would have went to the WC if he played for USA

        Like

    • Hogatroge

      Way to pull a Jonathan Klinsmann.

      Obviously, I don’t feel bad for the guy, but I’m not happy at his loss, either. I think the fact he knows that he could easily have been starting for the US now is probably bad enough.

      Like

  • ChrisTheLSUTiger

    He would be going to his second World Cup if he had decided to play for the country of his birth. I feel bad for the guy, but not really.

    Like

    • Hogatroge

      Right there with you. He made his bed…which was his right…now he has to lie in it.

      At the same time, I’m certainly not “HAHAHAHAHA”-ing.

      Like

  • JayAre

    I don’t understand how this is funny. This shows how much we need to improve our talent pool.

    Like

    • futbolisimo

      +1 Rossi’s snub of the U.S. is well warranted. Why would you want to play for the U.S. when you could play for Italy and actually have a shot at winning the Cup?

      Like

      • Killer Instict

        Because you can prove more by playing with a team that doesn’t have the same level of talent, than being another superstar. One of the ways a team becomes a contender is by having players put their personal gain aside. Based on your previous negative comments futbolisimo, it seem you are either a Eurosnob or you’re from another country.

        Like

      • Alex

        Sorry, but no competitive professional athlete thinks that way. You fight and scratch for a chance to be on a team that lifts that trophy at the end of the tournament. Rossi would’ve never held it here, and has had legitimate chances to make the Italian side. He made the right call. Had he chosen to star for a weaker side he would be pulling a Landon, and everyone here knows it.

        Like

      • Derrick

        Because the US national team went to more international finals than Rossi during his career

        Like

      • slowleftarm

        Why would he play for the US? Because he was born and raised here. And he doesn’t have a chance of winning a WC if he isn’t on the roster does he?

        Like

      • US_Soccer with Graham Zusi

        You probably only buy American too? He made a decision that had nothing to do with you or I. How could he have known that he would not make the roster. Isn’t there some American colloquialism about nothing ventured nothing gained..

        Like

      • slowleftarm

        I only buy American? What does that mean? I can criticize this decision and laugh about it because this guy turned his back on us to chase glory and now he gets nothing. I think that’s pretty funny.

        Like

      • Paul

        If nothing else, Rossi could have dramatically increased his income from endorsements if he played for the U.S. Not that money should the primary concern, but Bradley and Dempsey just moved to MLS for monetary reasons and not for soccer reasons.

        Like

      • Moooooose

        Actually the US finished above Italy in the one tournament that he played in. Sucks to be a traitor.

        Like

      • Derrick

        And if I recalled he scored against the USA and celebrated like he won the World Cup

        Like

  • Mike R

    Hahahahahhaahahhahahahahahahahahhahaahhahaahahhahaahhahahahaahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahah babanahhahahahahaha bahahahahhahahahahahahahahahhaahba

    IN THE FACE!!!!!!

    Like

  • Mike R

    Ha Rossi I didn’t even realize you didn’t make the team until my phone told me!

    Like

  • BrianK

    Pity. The young man has had some bad luck. Too bad he didn’t play for USA,….but we all have to live with our decisions. The irony is that deep down,…the Italians didn’t like him. Buffon swayed Lippi in 2010,…the GL didn’t like him on a personal level. Now,…who knows.

    The bottom line is that the kid scores goals,…

    Like

      • BrianK

        Lippi doesn’t take him in 2010,…especially after he impressed at the Confederations Cup. Buffon lobbied against him being on the team. The kid had an impressive goal scoring record. Why wouldn’t he have been included on the team? Why didn’t Buffon like him? You tell me.

        Why take Cassano in 2014 instead of Rossi? Something is off. A player with his natural ability and knack for goal scoring should have been on the team in 2010 and 2014.

        Like

      • Rob Jones

        “Buffon lobbied against him being on the team.”

        Provide a source or stop talking out of your ass.

        Like

      • User222

        Rossi has no class… he more than celebrated his goal against his country in the 2010 Confed Cup…. I’m positive even the Italians didnt like that, especially GiGi… and everyone in the world knows Buffon is a classy guy both on and off the field.

        Like

    • Willie

      Hmm, does that make all the foreign players on our team traitors too? There is no difference in what they did than what Rossi did. Rossi made a bad choice and in all probability will never play in a WC game now

      Like

      • Yankeedom

        The difference is that most of our “foreign” players were a) never going to get a legit chance with their other country (so you can’t really say they turned their back on that country), b) were actually born in the USA and moved away at a young age, or c) identify with the USA on a higher level then with their other country of eligibility.

        Rossi is a traitor in my eyes because he was born and raised here, the USA expressed a legitimate interest in him and he still chose Italy.

        Like

      • Mason

        Isn’t it for German fans to decide how they feel about the Germericans?

        Like

  • Joe Dirt

    What a shame. This guy could have been great for the USA. Bruce Arena wanted him for 2006, word is he was given an invite to that pre cup camp but refused, he was still with Man United then. Of course he was injured for 2010 but would be a shoe in for us now. Now he probably never play in a WC. He’ll be over 30 for the next one. I’m sure he has regrets, but won’t say it till he’s retired.

    Like

    • BrianK

      Joe Dirt,

      I don’t think he was hurt int 2010. I was told that Lippi liked him but Buffon, who carries a lot of weight on the team, doesn’t like on a personal level and swayed Lippi to drop him.

      Like

      • Joe Dirt

        Thought he had the knee injury back then didn’t he?

        Like

      • EQeki

        He wasnt fit in 2010. That was the excuse that left him off the roster

        Like

    • flagermunsen.

      It is a shame on many levels. No one was a winner in this situation. Rossi could have played in 2 or maybe even 3 World Cups and cemented himself as the leading player from the USA. The USA desperately has needed a finisher to push itself beyond being somewhere around the Top 15th to 25th ranked team in the world (wasn’t McBride the last forward to score in a WC?) And, there have been plenty of bridges burned. Would be interesting to see if he shows up at a place like RBNJ in MLS some day. That would be better than when Marquez went there.

      Like

      • Mason

        I expect he will play in MLS at some point later in his career, but unless his luck improves, no one will really care.

        Like

    • Remy

      Bruce Arena is not one to convince any really good dual nationals to play for the US. If he still were the coach, I don’t see half of the players on the USMNT playing for the US.

      Like

  • slowleftarm

    It’s pretty funny that this guy will once again be watching both Italy and US in the world cup.

    Like

    • Joe+G

      Please, ESPN, don’t hire him as a studio talking head for the WC. He was horrid during the Euros last year.

      Like

      • Remy

        Oh, my God. I agree. He is boring as hell and his commentary adds nothing to the game.

        Like

  • dawwilly

    I would have to say that aside from Balotelli, who had a subpar season this year, Italy’s team looks old and slow. They don’t have much of chance this year. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Italy and France repeat their 1st round exits like in South Africa. The teans with fitness and limited injuries will be the most successful in Brazil. European teams will.struggle with the conditions.

    Like

    • Edmondo

      France is a much better team. I expect them to make the quarter-finals.

      Like

      • Michael Stypulkoski

        They have all the talent in the world, but when is the last time a Zidane-less French team looked good?

        Like

  • Jon

    I’m guessing everyone here was cheering wildly for Johnson’s superb goal today. So can someone take me through the thought process of rooting for Johnson, jones, green, johannson, diskerud…(and on and on) all while hating Rossi? It doesn’t make any sense to me. I love all of the dual nationals on the US but I feel like you just have to accept that every country benefits and loses out on players all the time. Just accept it for how it is. I am gutted for him after how hard he has worked to rehab now his third knee surgery. I honestly think his omission is worse than Landon’s (and I am still not over that). Just disappointed we won’t be able to watch another great player on the worlds biggest stage.

    Like

    • manicmessiah

      People cheer for players who play for our country and boo and dislike players who don’t. It’s not like US fans are telling fans of the Norwegian nats not to dislike Mix.

      Like

    • chg

      This isn’t a brain teaser. These guys decided to play for us. Rossi did not. It’s more appropriate to ask Norwegian and Icelandic fans what they think of Mix and Johannsson.

      Like

  • Skippy

    Rossi made a huge career mistake. He chose to play for Italy thinking that he would be part of a national team with great history and he could possibly win a World Cup. He chose the national team that he thought was more prestigious.

    If he had chosen the USA, he could have been the face of American soccer, played in several World Cups, grown the game in the US, and had celebrity status in the US when he retired. Such a missed opportunity for both the USA and for Rossi. He’s an unexceptional Italian football player…when he could have been an American hero.

    Like

    • Michael Stypulkoski

      That’s a little harsh. He’s an exceptional player who has been devastated by injuries. Overall, however, I agree with you.

      Like

      • Big Red

        Michael Bradley isn’t even a quarter of the player Rossi is and look at how he’s treated. I don’t think this comment is harsh at all. In fact it is pretty spot on.

        Like

    • Alex

      And he would have never lifted the trophy, which counts for more than any of those things you’ve listed.

      Like

  • blokhin

    it’s a shame that he won’t get a chance to play for the country of his birth…wait, he was born in America?…OK fine, we have dual-national players too, so it’s his parents country of birth, like our Germericans…no? well, have fun watching tourney on your couch, like the rest of us

    Like

  • Twosevenstreet

    Really it’s just a shame. He could have played in 06, 10 and now 14 for the USA.

    Sucks a player as good as him will never taste the highest level of the game

    Like

  • Mueller

    Some of the comments on this site lately are just shameful. Not sure if it is just normal internet trolling or if American soccer fans are just becoming ridiculously mean-spirited.

    Like

  • Brett

    I wonder if he will watch the tournament on TV… It’s gotta kill him to see Jozy getting repeated caps for the USA.

    Like

  • Johan Peeters

    The discussions about Rossi on this site again and again clearly indicate that the US is a sick and ugly society.

    Like

    • chg

      LOL. Yes. That’s exactly it. Because Schadenfreude is an American invention exclusive to our shores.

      Your’s is the most ignorant and trolleriffic comment in the thread.

      Like

  • Scott e Dio93

    Che ridiculo!

    Someone told me there’s interview with Rossi trying speak english italian accent.

    Like

  • Jose

    Well,, nothing wrong choosing Italy, we have dual nationals, whats bother me was his celebration after he score agains USA, just respect for the country tath you born , and his father probably make his money working here for him to be where hi is, just respet, this is his country no mather what

    Like

    • wood chip ziip

      Agree, never had a problem with him choosing Italy. It was the celebration that made me not a fan.

      Like

  • Dawwilly

    I actually think Rossi is discriminated against by the Italian national coaches. We are talking about a country where a sizable group of fans yells racist chants at one of its top players. There swaths of the Italian soccer community that don’t accept Balotelli as one of their own. I am sure than there also those in the soccer hierarchy that see Rossi as less than equal because he was born here. Lippi never gave him a fair shake and the squad was terribly boring in South Africa. There is not much to like here about the current selection either. The Italian club teams that are performing well at the moment are doing so because, large part, of play of foreign players. And anyone tooting France’s horn should also get a clue. They don’t look too tough either.

    Like

  • Dan

    Rossi is not a traitor. No one should blame him for pursuing excellence. An American kid actually being considered for Italy’s national team is amazing. I hope he comes back in 4 years and makes it on the Italian team.

    Like

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