Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 4th 2014 Contents A62
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 4, 2014
MILAN---Giuseppe Rossi always knew he would
not be in Italy s World Cup squad according to
national coach Cesare Prandelli, who also revealed
yesterday that the United States-born forward
almost wasn t included in the provisional list.
Speaking for the first time since revealing his
23-man squad on Sunday, Prandelli explained he
had been clear with Rossi since meeting with the
forward in early May, shortly after his comeback
from a four-month injury layoff.
"I met Giuseppe Rossi on May 7, before giving
the 30," Prandelli said. "I wanted to speak to him,
tell him that he had played very little time. I was
going with the intention to tell him he wasn t in
the 30. Then I understood that it could be some-
thing nice and a strong message for everyone.
"I told him that moment that he wasn t in the
23...I repeated it twice. I also told him that it was
a very hard decision because he is an extraordinary
lad. I told him several times: Beppe, you re not
in the 23. We began to work. He always worked
well, with enthusiasm. Everyone knew their role."
Rossi was leading Serie A s leading scorer with
14 goals in 17 matches for Fiorentina when he rein-
jured his right knee in January, sidelining him for
Before Saturday s friendly international against
Ireland, the 27-year-old had played just 140 minutes
at club level since returning to action.
"Before the last match I told him you re good
from a physical point of view, but that I wanted
to see more on the pitch, the actions that a foot-
baller unconsciously does," Prandelli said.
"I wanted to see a forward that plays as a forward.
I even took off (Ciro) Immobile to see if that would
help, but I didn t see that which I should have
"It would have been easy to pick him, everyone
would have been happy. But it would have been
too much of a risk. I told him he hadn t completed
his recovery. Obviously I m surprised at certain
Rossi and those close to him have expressed
their disappointment and surprise at the striker s
exclusion, while fans have vented their dismay on
social networking sites.
Rossi also took to Twitter on Monday to dismiss
speculation that he was dropped because of fitness
While Rossi has returned home to New Jersey,
the Italy squad has left its training base at Cov-
Prandelli: Rossi knew
he wasn't on Italy squad
Italy forward Mario Balotelli, background left, flanked by his teammate Giorgio
Chiellini, speak with Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, foreground right, and Giancarlo
Abete, president of the Italian Football Federation, at the Coverciano centre, near
Florence, Italy, yesterday. AP PHOTO
erciano, near Florence, and switched to Perugia,
where the Azzurri will play Luxembourg in a friend-
ly on Wednesday before flying out to Brazil the
There were fears earlier over goalkeeper Salvatore
Sirigu and forward Mario Balotelli.
Sirigu was taken to hospital on Monday night
with pain in his ribs after his final save in an
evening training session.
"Fortunately, tests have ruled out fractures," Italy
doctor Enrico Castellacci said. "The lad has badly
bruised the right 11th rib, with post-impact swelling.
It is a tedious and painful injury, but manageable.
Now, we are much more relaxed. In short, there
is no reason to alert possible replacements."
Sirigu will refrain from making any diving saves
in the next few practices.
Balotelli has trained normally despite complaints
of pain and amid reports he has a groin injury.
Prandelli confirmed the AC Milan forward is in
the starting XI for the match against Luxembourg.
"Balotelli is very well," Prandelli added. "He s
fatigued, but from all the work. I ve never seen
him work so hard. He is in extraordinary form."
Castellacci said earlier that Balotelli had over-
stretched his adductor muscles, but that the staff
were "managing it calmly."
Italy opens its World Cup campaign against Eng-
land in Group D on June 14, before then facing
Costa Rica on June 20 and Uruguay on June 24.
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