32 goals last season have made Giuseppe Rossi a fixture for the Azuuri and one of the most sought after strikers in world football.. Manchester City should keep a close eye on the former rag...
Giuseppe Rossi is a son of immigrant workers who moved from Italy to America to improve their lot so he is well placed to explain why he moved in the opposite direction to build something of a burgeoning career back in the old continent.
Italians of the non Ital-American variety like Rossi because he came home after papa had persuaded Parma to give little Beppe a trial at the tender age of 13. However, having pinned his colours to the tricolour rather than the stars and stripes once he demonstrated that he could actually make a living out the game he was up and off to Manchester United.
Federcio Macheda is the most recent Italian to follow a well-torn path which has seen Rino Gattuso pitch up at Rangers rather hang around at Perugia, Sam Dalla Bona go from Italy youth captain to Chelsea first team and Enzo Marecsa, who would later play for Juventus, earn his stripes with West Bromwich Albion.
It is also a well-worn walk the plank in the opposite direction and Rossi eventually packed his little Invicta back-pack and headed back to whence he had first appeared to what many expected to be the beginning of a journey around the footballing backwaters of the Bel Paese.
So, how did the Jersey boy end up being feted by the likes of Barcelona, Juventus, Napoli and the obligatory Manchester City whom he will be looking to shoot down this evening when the sides meet in the Champions League.
“He never took a moment to think where he was going to hit the ball, he just did it – and you cannot coach that”
At the age of 20, with no prospect of breaking into the United starting attack and the thought of playing for one of the yo-yo clubs in Italy offering no appeal a move to Villarreal was the clever move for a young player who certainly not lived a sheltered life like many of his Italian contemporaries who would never dream of giving up their home comforts and mamma’s cooking.
His compact build, quick feet and powerful bursts of speed really flourished in La Liga where he scored 32 goals last season - and his willingness to shoot from just about any angle as long as the ball is on his left boot seemed to hit the target on just about every occasion – low in the corner, down the middle or high into the roof of the net.
The hugely successful Arrigo Sacchi who revolutionised the Italian game when charge of AC Milan was back at Parma when the Rossi started cutting a swathe through youth team defences and he summed why he felt the youngster would go a long way in the game.
“He never took a moment to think where he was going to hit the ball, he just did it – and you cannot coach that,” was his glowing scouting report and why he was so furious that United had poached a frontman the club had done so much to nurture.
It is that direct route to goal and explosive shooting that first had Marcello Lippi hemming and hawing whether to take the diminutive forward to the 2010 World Cup but in the end decided he needed to have more Juventus and aged donkeys in the squad.
It was a blessing to have missed out on the debacle of South Africa and left the Twitter addict time to down to some serious tweeting as he waited on the call from the saviour of the Italy national side Cesare Prandelli.
Rossi is ready-made for Prandelli’s swift-passing approach where the ball is played forward as soon as possible and where the strikers are encouraged to switch positions. Receiving the ball on the right of attack is his favoured modus operandi which enables him to motor in-field to get a shot away or play a quick one-two on the edge of the area.
As he has shown throughout his young career Rossi has always kept moving forward, which could well cause Manchester City plenty of problems this evening.
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