Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi has voiced his disappointment on social networking site Twitter after being excluded from the Italian World Cup squad, The Guardian reports.
The former Manchester United forward has missed four months of the Serie A season due to a knee injury, but he returned to first-team action last month and has tried to fight his way back into contention for the tournament.
However, despite returning to full fitness and featuring in Italy's pre-tournament friendly with Republic of Ireland, Italian coach Cesare Prandelli decided against taking him to the tournament.
Instead of taking the Fiorentina striker, Prandelli has chosen Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino) and Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli) as his striking options.
Italy get their World Cup competition underway against England on June 14 before taking on Costa Rica and Uruguay. And despite tweeting his support to his teammates, Rossi could not hide his disappointment and confusion at his admission.
The 27-year-old managed to bag 16 goals this season for his club despite being out of action for four months, but missing the 2014 World Cup will see him now miss three big tournaments in a row.
Rossi wasn't chosen by Marcello Lippi for the 2010 World Cup and he missed the Euros in 2012 due to a knee injury.
After hearing about his exclusion, Rossi said: "I am saddened and disappointed but I will support my team-mates.
"Everyone says out of shape but you can ask anyone regarding the results of the (team's physical) tests done during the week and in the game (Saturday's match against Ireland).
"One would be surprised. Fear of contact? It makes me laugh.... I am faster in thinking than a defender. Perhaps next time, like an amateur, I wait for the defender in order to be kicked.
"I just wanted to make that small clarification. Now the most important thing is to support Italy. Forza Azzurri!!"
Not only has Rossi spoken out about missing the cut, his agent, Andrea Pastorello, has also spoken out about his client's feelings towards the decision.
"Giuseppe is disappointed and bitter," Pastorello said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now he will support his team-mates.
"It's an exclusion that we accept with some regret but without making any controversy because it doesn't serve for anything.
"The only thing I can say is that Giuseppe has made incredible sacrifices in the last five months and unfortunately, it hasn't been enough.
"This is why the exclusion weighs heavy on us."
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