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Tuesday Kickoff: Prandelli wants Rossi-Balotelli partnership; Costa withdraws from Spain squad; and more

BalotelliRossiItalyNationalTeam1-Armenia2013 (Getty)


Italy National Team head coach Cesare Prandelli is planning on going with a new striker partnership when his side take on Germany in Milan on Friday. 

With the return to fitness after two serious knee injuries and his red-hot scoring form for Fiorentina, Prandelli told reporters in Italy that he’d like to start Guiseppe Rossi alongside Mario Balotelli for the match against the Germans. The two have only started together once, back in November 2010 in a 1-1 draw with Romania, though Rossi played in a wide forward role in that match.

In my head there is a desire to see (Balotelli and Rossi) together, even though Giuseppe arrived (in Italy camp) with a fever,” Prandelli told Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Rossi’s health is a doubt due to the fever, but if he’s fit, it should be an interesting partnership. What isn’t in doubt is the form of the American-born forward, who leads Serie A with 11 goals in 12 matches for Fiorentina.

Here are some more stories to get your Tuesday started:


After accepting his first ever Spanish National Team call up, Diego Costa has been forced to withdraw from the squad after suffering a hamstring injury, according to reports in Spain.

The Brazilian-born forward reportedly suffered the injury during his club Atletico Madrid’s last match, a 1-1 draw at Villarreal on Sunday. Atletico didn’t disclose a timetable for Costa’s return on their website. Spain head coach Vicente Del Bosque has replaced Costa with Juventus forward Fernando Llorente on the roster set to face Equatorial Guinea and South Africa.

Meanwhile, Manchester United’s Robin Van Persie has pulled out of Holland’s November friendly matches against Japan and Colombia reportedly due to minor toe and groin injuries. Netherlands head coach Louis Van Gaal has replaced Van Persie with uncapped Vitesse midfielder Davy Pröpper.


Frustrated by the injury layoff of Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany, the Belgium National Team have sent their own chief doctor to check on the status of Kompany, and he’s returned with news that’s worse than they had thought.

“I think Vincent is going to be ready in several weeks,”Lieven Maesschalck told Sky Sports. “We will do everything we can to bring back Vincent in a good way for a long time. First of all he had a rupture, a tear into the abductor and then also he has bad luck with a small thing on the front side now, so it’s everything together.

“It’s not really so long – eight weeks is nothing in the time of injury. You must respect biology.”

The news is a blow not only to the Belgium National Team staff but Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini, who had hoped that Kompany would return by the end of November. However, the Man City captain now looks to be out until December at the earliest.


The remaining 210,000 or so tickets for the FIFA World Cup second phase of ticketing were bought in under seven hours after the window opened for ticket sales. (REPORT)

Manchester United are looking at a move with Borussia Dortmund that would see the Shinji Kagawa return to the German club with Marco Reus going to Old Trafford. (REPORT)

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has returned to full training nearly three months after suffering an ankle injury. (REPORT)

Paris Saint-Germain will make up to €200 million per season in a single sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority, a move that is thought to circumvent Financial Fair Play regulations. (REPORT)

Sampdoria have sacked their head coach Delio Rossi with their club sitting in the relegation zone after 12 matches this season. (REPORT)


What do you think of these reports? Do you believe a Rossi-Balotelli partnership can work for Italy? Disappointed that Costa and Van Persie withdrew from their respective National Teams? Do you see Man City signing a center back as cover during the January transfer window due to the Kompany injury problems?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I used to be angry at Rossi, but really, you can’t blame him. He was raised as a lifelong fan of the Azzuri and he developed in the Italian system. Honestly, I blame his parents. They came to America for a better life, America delivered on that promise, and this is how they repaid the debt? I’d rather have 1 immigrant family who loves America even if their kids couldn’t kick a soccer ball to save their lives, than 10 more Rossi families. An Italian-American friend of mine (who is a fan of the Azzuri) tried to defend Rossi. He’s a career army officer and I asked him why he didn’t join the powerful Italian army. That shut him up. If Rossi Sr. loved Italy so much, he should have stayed there and enjoyed all the benefits their wonderful economy has to offer (dripping sarcasm here).

  2. The worst part George is that Italians will never adopt him as one of their own. They will always see him as the American due to the factory of talent they have. While we are desperate for such talent and don’t care where they are from as they as they represent the US. I think Rossi made the wrong decesicion, Italy won’t ever appreciate him and accept him like he would have had he played for America.

    • You mean like how some Americans don’t appreciate and accept some of our guys? The same sentiment is here as well so to generalize all Italians as such and somehow see it differntly here is not fair.

      Rossi still plays for them when he can and I am happy for him, just as much as I am with the guys we’ve gained. This is the way of international football – we gain some and lose some. Yes it hurts much more for us now but who knows what the future holds for us. We are doing just fine and are one the right natural trajectory,

    • You’re way off-base here, and overgeneralizing. I’ve gotten into discussions with Italians over Mauro Camoranesi. I would refer to him as Argentine, they would always correct me and say he’s Italian. The way they looked it at, if he has Italian heritage and plays for Italy he was Italian, end of story. Sure, you’ll probably run into some hardcore nationalist types that would think otherwise, as you would in any country. But I think the assumption that Italians will never accept Rossi based on where he was born is hugely misguided.

      • Are you talking about Americans who identify themselves as Italian or Italians? As someone who has lived in Milan, I can tell you that the vast majority of them that I was around will never view Rossi as being Italian. There’s still a large number of them that will don’t view Balotelli as a true Italian either. It’s just their mindset.

      • Having lived in Italy for a year–I can speak with the utmost certainty that nationalism in Italy is rampant beyond anything an American could understand.

        Rossi is and will forever be seen and spoken to/of as a foreigner.

      • For guys like Rossi and AJ and probably all dual nationals I doubt they worry about what percentage of the Italian or American population views and accepts them as “real (insert nationality)”.
        They joined up to play for a team they liked and wanted to be part of. As long as their temates and coaching staff and enough of their fans accept Rossi , AJ etc., etc. I doubt they really care what the “majority” of Italians or Americans think. Nor should they.
        Most of you will never meet these guys in person to shake their hands or spit in their face.

      • I’m not passing judgment one way or the other. I’m just relaying that nationalism is a serious, serious problem in Italy.

        Balotelli can tell you with surety how much it affects you when Italians don’t think you’re Italian.

        Hint: we hear about it in the news every week. It’s so bad teams are having their fans banned from games.

        He’s their best player and only chance at winning anything of note–and they still abuse him at every possible opportunity.

        Scary place to be black, aka not-Italian. Rossi gets it less, but the “foreigner” tag is still an awful thing to be given because of the abuse it brings.

      • Just because you two lived there and spoke to a bunch of different people who emphatically stated consistently how Italians feel about foreigners doesn’t mean anything. When my uncle’s best friend went to a deli in NJ, the guy he ordered his capicola sub from said Rossi is 100% straight-up Italian.

      • Yet the ONE person your UNCLE spoke with in NEW JERSEY is different and trumps the experiences of people who lived there for an extended period of time?

        Your logic is disjointed ….try again.

    • Mehh considering how we have traqitionally been set up he wouldnt have gotten enough service here to be what he will be for Italy. I would have rather we kept Subotic over Rossi, not the sexy pick but we would have gotten more of his full potential.

      But as ur academies get better we will develop better players and before you know it we will have our own players of this and higher qualities.

      • Agree on the Subotic comment, although he’s got a pretty serious injury right now. A healthy Subotic would be a huge boost to our back line.

    • We come way ahead in this deal. We didn’t develop either player but ended up with one of them.
      That’s a pretty good return considering we didn’t invest in either player.

      • If Rossi had stayed in Jersey he would’ve ended up like the millions of American kids that go on to accomplish nothing.
        Rossi is a product of Italian football. There’s just no way around it.

      • No, we don’t get the credit for developing him. His coach and father, Fernando Rossi, who immigrated from Italy, gets the credit for developing him until the age of 12. After that he played and trained in Italy under the guidance of various Italian coaches.

      • if you want to get technical and pedantic, he played in NJ until he was 12 then went to Italy for 4 years (with Parma) then England (with Man U) for 3 years before going to Villarreal

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