Giuseppe Rossi

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Giuseppe Rossi
File:Giuseppe Rossi FARE Ambassador.jpg
Rossi in 2011
Personal information
Full name Giuseppe Rossi[1]
Date of birth (1987-02-01) 1 February 1987 (age 31)[1]
Place of birth Teaneck, New Jersey, United States
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)[2]
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Number 22
Youth career
1996–1999 Clifton Stallions
2000–2004 Parma
2004 Manchester United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2004–2007 Manchester United 5 (1)
2006 Newcastle United (loan) 11 (0)
2007 Parma (loan) 19 (9)
2007–2013 Villarreal 136 (54)
2013– Fiorentina 31 (16)
National team
2003 Italy U16 5 (3)
2003–2004 Italy U17 14 (6)
2004–2005 Italy U18 3 (0)
2006–2008 Italy U21 16 (5)
2008 Italy Olympic team 6 (6)
2008– Italy 30 (7)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 14 December 2015.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 31 May 2014

Giuseppe Rossi (Italian pronunciation: [dʒuˈzɛppe ˈrossi]; born 1 February 1987) is an American-born Italian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Fiorentina and the Italian national team.

Born in Teaneck, New Jersey, he began his career with the Clifton Stallions in nearby Clifton, New Jersey, but joined the youth team of Italian club Parma at the age of 12. When he was 17, he was signed by English club Manchester United, but he was unable to break into the first team; after loan spells with Newcastle United and back at Parma, he signed for Spanish club Villarreal in 2007. After five-and-a-half years with Villarreal, he returned to Italy, signing for Fiorentina in January 2013.

Due to his prolific performances in the Spanish La Liga, Rossi earned the nickname Pepito Rossi, a reference to his namesake Paolo Rossi, who was nicknamed Pablito following his goalscoring performances in Italy's victorious 1982 FIFA World Cup campaign in Spain.[3][4]

After his father's death in 2010, Rossi began to wear the number 49, which was the year of his father's birth; in 2014, he switched back to the number 22 jersey.[5]

Early life

Rossi is an Italian American, born to Italian immigrant parents in Teaneck, New Jersey; his father, Fernando Rossi, coached soccer and taught Italian and Spanish at Clifton High School. His mother, Cleonilde Rossi, was also a language teacher at Clifton.[6] At age 12,[7] he moved to Parma, Italy, with his father to begin his youth career at Parma.

Club career

Early career

When offered a spot on the youth team of Parma, Rossi (then 12) and his father moved to Italy until Manchester United bought his contract when he was 17.[8] His first-team debut came on November 20, 2004, at home to Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the League Cup, as an 84th-minute substitute for David Bellion.[9]

For his Premier League debut on October 15, 2005, he came on in the 78th minute for Ruud van Nistelrooy and nine minutes later scored the last goal in a 3–1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.[10] On January 18, 2006, in an FA Cup third-round replay, he started and scored twice as United beat non-league Burton Albion 5–0.[11] Although Rossi did not play in the League Cup final against Wigan Athletic, Nemanja Vidić (who made a seven-minute cameo at the end of the game) gave Rossi his medal in recognition of Rossi's contribution to the team's success in the earlier rounds.[12]

At the start of the 2006–07 season, Rossi moved to Newcastle United on loan until January 1, 2007, where he was expected to gain some first team experience. He made his home debut on September 24, 2006.[13] Rossi scored his only Newcastle goal in his first start on October 25, 2006, against Portsmouth in a League Cup third round tie at St James' Park.[14]

For the second half of the season, he was again loaned out, this time to his former club, Parma.[15] Scoring nine goals in 19 league appearances,[16] he helped the club escape the threat of relegation.


File:Giuseppe Rossi - 2009 - Villarreal CF.jpg
Rossi played for Villarreal for five-and-a-half years after joining from Manchester United in 2007.

On July 31, 2007, Manchester United confirmed that Rossi had been sold to Spanish club Villarreal for an undisclosed fee, reportedly around £6.6 million (10 million).[17][18] He scored his first goal for Villarreal on his debut against Valencia on August 26, 2007.[19]

In his second season with Villarreal, Rossi had scored 12 goals in 30 league appearances, along with three goals in eight Champions League appearances.[20] In January 2011, he signed a contract extension with Villarreal until 2016.[21] The 2010–11 season proved to be his breakthrough season, as he scored 32 goals in 56 appearances in all competitions, helping the club to a fourth-place finish in La Liga, scoring 18 goals, which qualified them for the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League, also helping Villarreal to the semi-finals of the 2010–11 UEFA Europa League that season, scoring 11 goals, and the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. An anterior cruciate ligament injury on Rossi's right knee that he picked up in the 3–0 loss against Real Madrid on October 26, 2011 caused Rossi to be out for six months.[22] Rossi reinjured his anterior cruciate ligament of right knee in training on April 13, 2012, and was out for a further 10 months.[23]


On 4 January 2013, Fiorentina came to an agreement with Villarreal for the transfer of Rossi for a fee of approximately €11.8 million.[24] On 7 January, Fiorentina held a press conference unveiling Rossi, where it was revealed the player had signed a four-year contract containing a €35 million release clause.[25]

On 21 May, the final day of the 2012–13 Serie A season, Rossi made his debut for Fiorentina as a substitute in a 5–1 win over Pescara.[26]

On 26 August, Rossi scored his first goal in 23 months in Fiorentina's opening match of the 2013–14 Serie A season – a 2–1 defeat of Catania.[27] On 20 October, Rossi inspired Fiorentina to a 4–2 come from behind win over Juventus, netting a 14-minute hat-trick that condemned Juve to their first defeat in Florence for 15 years.[28]

On 5 January 2014, Rossi was substituted in Fiorentina's match against Livorno as he suffered a second-degree sprain of his medial collateral ligament in his right knee.[29] The blow was dealt by Leandro Rinaudo, who tackled Rossi from behind in a manner so dirty that he drew international condemnation.[30] Up to this point Rossi had been the leading goal scorer in Serie A with 14 goals in 18 league appearances.[7]

Rossi returned from injury as a 69th-minute substitute in Fiorentina's 3–1 Coppa Italia final loss to Napoli on 3 May.[31] On 6 May, he scored on his Serie A comeback – a 4–3 defeat to Sassuolo.[32]

On 14 August 2014, Rossi injured his medial meniscus of right knee in training. On 5 September 2014 Fiorentina confirmed Rossi will be out for 4–5 months.[33]

Rossi returned to the pitch on 30 August 2015, in a 3–1 away defeat to Torino; later that week he also agreed with his club to take a salary cut.[34] On 1 October, he scored his first goal since coming back from his injury in Fiorentina's 4–0 away victory over Belenenses in the Europa League.[35]

International career

Rossi represented Italy at almost every youth level from under-16 to under-21. In 2006, he was invited to a pre-World Cup training camp with the United States national team by then-coach Bruce Arena but declined, stating his desire to play for Italy. He was called up for the 2007 Euro U-21 by head coach Pierluigi Casiraghi. He scored four goals at the 2008 Summer Olympics, making him the top scorer for the tournament, despite only reaching the quarter-final.

Italian national football team manager Marcello Lippi has stated that had Rossi been fit, he would have received a call-up for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers in September 2008.[36] Rossi was called up to the Italy squad in October 2008, making his debut for the national team as a second-half substitute against Bulgaria on October 11. Rossi scored his first goal for the Italian national team on 6 June 2009, in a friendly against Northern Ireland, at Pisa's Arena Garibaldi.[37] He also scored two goals against the United States in the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa on 15 June 2009.[38]

Rossi was in Lippi's provisional 28-man 2010 FIFA World Cup squad announced in May,[39] but failed to make the cut for final 23-man squad.[40]

On 17 November 2010, for his 18th cap for Italy, Rossi was picked by Italian manager Cesare Prandelli to wear the captain's armband for the first time ahead of the friendly against Romania.[41]

After a two-year absence from the national team due to injury, Rossi appeared in a 2014 World Cup qualifying match on 15 October 2013, as Italy drew 2-2 against Armenia at home.[42] On 13 May 2014, Rossi was named in Italy's provisional 30-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup,[43] however Prandelli informed Rossi that he would not be in the final 23-man squad.[44] On 1 June, it was announced that Rossi had not made the final 23-man World Cup squad.[45]

Style of play

A quick and mobile left-footed forward, Rossi is known for his overall attacking and creative style of play, as well as his movement off the ball. He has often been compared to Del Piero, due to his acceleration, strong technical skills, range of passing, dribbling talents, and his ability to pick out a pass;[46] his playing style has also been compared to that of Paolo Rossi, due to his opportunism, pace, agility, and eye for goal.[4] He is known for his ability to both score goals and link-up play; he often drops deep between the lines and is involved in the buildup of plays. Because of this, Rossi is able to play in a variety of attacking positions, including on the wings, as a support striker, lone-striker and in an attacking midfield role.[47][48][49][50] Despite his talent, skill, and goalscoring ability, Rossi's playing time has been limited in recent seasons due to several recurring injury problems.[51]



As of 17 December 2015.[52][53]
Club Season League Cup[nb 1] Other Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Manchester United 2004–05 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0
2005–06 5 1 2 2 3 1 2[lower-alpha 1] 0 12 4
Total 5 1 2 2 5 1 2 0 14 4
Newcastle United (loan) 2006–07 11 0 0 0 2 1 13 1
Parma (loan) 2006–07 19 9 0 0 1[lower-alpha 2] 0 20 9
Villarreal 2007–08 27 11 5 2 5[lower-alpha 2] 0 37 13
2008–09 30 12 1 0 8[lower-alpha 1] 3 39 15
2009–10 34 10 4 2 8[lower-alpha 3] 5 46 17
2010–11 36 18 5 3 15[lower-alpha 3] 11 56 32
2011–12 9 3 0 0 5[lower-alpha 1] 2 14 5
Total 136 54 15 7 41 21 192 82
Fiorentina 2012–13 1 0 0 0 1 0
2013–14 21 16 1 0 2[lower-alpha 3] 1 24 17
2015–16 9 0 1 0 4[lower-alpha 3] 2 14 2
Total 31 16 2 0 6 3 39 19
Career total 202 80 19 9 7 2 50 24 278 115
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 All appearances in UEFA Champions League
  2. 2.0 2.1 All appearances in UEFA Cup
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 All appearances in Europa League


As of 7 July 2015. [54]
Italy national team
Year Apps Goals
2008 2 0
2009 12 3
2010 4 0
2011 9 3
2012 0 0
2013 2 1
2014 1 0
Total 30 7




  1. Includes cup competitions such as FA Cup, Copa del Rey and Coppa Italia


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External links