It has been a traumatic couple of years in the life of Giuseppe Rossi who has suffered two knee injuries that have kept him out of the game since October 2011.
In that time he has seen the Villarreal side he helped finish fourth in 2010/11, and subsequently qualify for the Champions League, be relegated and missed the Euro 2012 championships at which he was set to shine as the focal point of Italy’s attack.
New Jersey born Rossi came through the youth ranks at Manchester United having moved to England from Parma in 2004 and reflected upon his time at Old Trafford in a recent interview with Gazzetta dello Sport: "Giggs and Scholes are strong people. In training, they care for details in an obsessive way.
"And then Ferguson. Off the pitch he treats you like a family member.
“He tells you things to your face, even hard-nosed, but everyone respects him and follows him, because he makes you win."
Rossi made a big impact on the coaches and supporters at United and was hotly tipped to make the breakthrough into the first team setup. Despite standing at 5”6 he could more than hold his own with quick movement and emphatic finishing as he came alive inside the opposition penalty area.
He spent the 2006/07 season on loan firstly with Newcastle where he found opportunities hard to come by only making eleven league appearances without managing a goal and latterly with first club Parma where he helped the club avoid relegation scoring nine times in 19 outings.
The following season saw Rossi left with a tough decision following United’s summer signings.
He said: "When Nani and Anderson arrived, Ferguson was very honest: 'You will not find the opportunities that you want."
He opted for Villarreal in a £6.6million move, with United rumoured to have insisted on a clause to bring the Italian back to Old Trafford in the future should they so wish.
Rossi scored 54 times in 136 league outings for the Spanish side and was linked with a move to Barcelona with the player’s agents claiming they were in talks at the end of the 2010/11 season.
The following season Rossi suffered the first of his anterior cruciate ligament injuries which kept him out for six months before a re-occurrence of the injury kept him out for a further 10 months.
Rossi returned to Italy in January to join Fiorentina and has returned to training ahead of a hopeful return to action.
It’s hard to believe he’s still only 26 and he has plenty of time to resurrect his career to showcase his undoubted talent and ability as a goalscorer.
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