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Rossi misses out on Italy’s World Cup squad again; regrets over US snub?

Jun 3, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

ACF Fiorentina v Calcio Catania - Serie A Getty Images

Giuseppe Rossi will not be heading to the World Cup this summer, as the American-born Italian international has yet again been left out at the final hurdle.

In 2010 Rossi was cut from the Italian roster by Marcel Lippi after making the initial 30-man squad and lighting has struck twice as the New Jersey native will again be sitting at home watching the biggest soccer tournament on the planet from afar.

Bemused. Bewildered. Disappointed.

Rossi is feeling a little aggrieved to have been left off the final 23-man squad this time around after he battled back from another serious knee injury in January. On Monday he said the following via Twitter after his recovery from injury following his red-hot start to the 2013-14 Serie A season proved to be not quite good enough for head coach Cesare Prandelli.

“Everyone is saying I’m out of shape: ask anyone the results of the tests from last week and from the match,” Rossi said. “You will be surprised. Challenges? Fear? What a laugh.”

Prandelli had been praising Rossi in the build up to their warm up game vs. Ireland at Craven Cottage on Saturday but has opted against taking him in the squad.

Now that 27-year-old forward has missed out on a third-straight major tournament for the Azzuri (he missed Euro 2012 after suffering yet another injury), this is a good time to ask if he should have played for the U.S. national team at international level.

There’s no doubt about it, looking at the strength of the USA’s roster up top right now, you’d have to think that a player who scored 16 goals in Serie A for Fiorentina this season would have made Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad. Rossi has his reasons for selecting the country of his family’s heritage over the country of his birth and the striker from Teaneck, NJ made that decision a long time ago.

However it’s hard not to think of ‘what could of been’ if you imagine Rossi playing for the USMNT. Yes, he moved to Italy at the age of 12 to play in Parma’s youth academy but he still has ties to the U.S. and could have become one of the greatest goalscorers in U.S. history. There is no doubt about that.

Many would argue that getting into the provisional 30-man squad for the Italian national team is harder than breaking into the USA’s final roster but at the end of the day, those 23 players from the U.S. are going to the World Cup. Rossi is not.

As harsh as that sounds, when you become a professional player (or just growing up as a kid playing the game) your dream is to play at the World Cup. If Rossi would’ve selected to play for the USA over Italy, he’d now be heading to this second-straight World Cup.

Instead he will be watching at home on TV, once again.

  1. dws110 - Jun 3, 2014 at 1:41 PM

    Meh, Rossi made his choice, and Prandelli made his. Such is life.

  2. lavatomy - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:07 PM

    RBNY should counter the David Villa signing by signing Rossi.

    • pmacd82 - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:01 PM


  3. christophershearin - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    sweet justice seeing him left out, you made your bed rossi

    • scrummymustard - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:31 PM

      As much as I’d like to be an adult about it, my feelings are pretty similar

      • troy2 - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        In the Italian-American immigrant community there is a certain longing and affection for the “old country” especially when one is closer to the first generation. I understand his choice but as a USMNT fan I think of what could have been. There is no winner here.

  4. konmtu - Jun 3, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    All I can think is: “Haha! Rossi’s not going! Haha”

  5. mdac1012 - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:05 PM

    I admit it irks me that Rossi chose Italy over the U.S. and my family is from Italy. But it is also hypocritical to root against Rossi and call him a traitor as many did back when he made his decision and at the same time root for and applaud guys on the USMNT that essentially did the same thing by choosing the U.S. over teams from countries they have closer ties to and grew up in.

  6. bellerophon30 - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    I wish that Rossi had chosen differently those years ago, but I find it hard to believe that anyone is criticizing him for his choice while forgetting about: Thomas Dooley (skipper at 1998 World Cup), Roy Wegerle, David Regis, Stuart Holden, Earnie Stewart, Benny Feilhaber……and that’s just the guys BEFORE this year who played for the USMNT in a World Cup but weren’t born in the US. Wegerle had four countries to choose from I think, and Regis had never been to the US before.

    I’m sure he has regrets, yes. But most people in his position would have done the same thing.

    • dws110 - Jun 3, 2014 at 3:48 PM

      Effing David Regis…never forget.

  7. awsnavely - Jun 3, 2014 at 6:20 PM

    I’m sick of the “right decision” argument regarding dual-nationals. Most people can’t seem to understand how a person can feel kin to two separate countries at once. My mother was born and raised in Brasil by Portugese-speaking and completely non-Brasilian American parents. It took her a long time to adjust when they moved the family back to the States, but now you should see her during soccer matches between the U.S. and Brasil, actively cheering for both teams in both English and Portuguese (language not necessarily specific on who she’s rooting for). It’s not a matter of making a “right” or “wrong” decision. It’s making a decision and playing as hard as you can for the name on the front of the shirt. See: Mix Diskerud’s interviews about choosing the U.S. over Norway and on being given the number 10 shirt.

  8. schmutzdeck - Jun 3, 2014 at 7:10 PM

    Lippi has since come out and said he was wrong to leave Rossi off in 2010

    And few believe he would have been cut if not for the injury this time around. He simply has had bad luck and there is nothing to be done about that.

    He should be in top form for the 2016 Euros which as consolation prizes go is something that no US player has. And if he maintains his form at 31 he will be in contention for the 2018 WC.

    I don’t feel sorry for him. He has a lot left to shoot for. I doubt he regrets anything nor should he.

    • mknow406a - Jun 3, 2014 at 11:55 PM

      Hmph! The Euros?!?! That’s only once every 4 years… the Gold Cup is every 2. That makes it twice as good!!!! I’m sure Rossi spent most of last summer saying to himself “I wish I had me some of that….” LOL.

  9. egonzales184 - Jun 4, 2014 at 2:07 AM

    Rossi made the right choice to choose Italy. Embarrassing that people are gloating about the guy not going to the world cup. He chose his heritage because he is human, nobody would choose USMNT when they could chose a powerhouse. I will support my country but I’m much more excited to watch the superior footballing of the likes of Belgium, Germany, etc.

  10. what1814 - Sep 4, 2014 at 3:13 PM

    No one’s as bitter as a USMNT fan lol
    He made the right choice gambling with a winner, rather than starting for a loser

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