Once compared to Alessandro del Piero, the career of Giuseppe Rossi has taken a twist and mainly a painful turn. TheHardTackle takes a look at the Fiorentina favourite who is back with a bang.
Knee injuries can knock the stuffing out of you. Not only do they, more often than not, rule you out for a lengthy period but they can be the most difficult to recover from. For years, damage to the knee has widely regarded as the most dreaded form of injury a professional footballer can come across. It is thought of to be the most susceptible part of a footballer’s structure. Ronaldo and Alessandro Del Piero have both fallen prey to such injuries and while they did go on to recover successfully; there is always the question ‘of what could have been?’ that lingers.
For some though, injuries won’t get them down. Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi is proving to be a fine example of a player who refused to throw in the towel. Rossi had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and had been ruled out for six months. It was heart-break for a player who was coming about in leaps and bounds. With over 30 goals in the 2010-2011 season, Rossi blossomed at Villareal into one of the finest strikers in La Liga.
But the injury consequentially brought with it skepticism about his ability to recover. His wings were injured just when he was soaring. But if that wasn’t enough, just as things were starting to go Rossi’s way again and a return to action looked on the cards, disaster struck, once more. Rossi’s ligament failed him and the Italian was on the treatment table for another lengthy period.
It was an agonizing blow not only to the player but to his club, Villareal, who would go on to be suffer the plight of relegation but as well as his country, Italy.
Jumping ship to Florence
The Yellow Submarine had sunk and while Rossi was prepared to jump ship, for a while it seemed like no club were ready to take the gamble on him. Then Viola came in and offered him a route out when there seemed like none.
For €10m, Fiorentina secured their man from the Spanish outfit. You’re always playing a risky game when you sign an injured player who some consider damaged goods, an even bigger one at that when the player suffered back-to-back knee injuries. While Fiorentina were mindful about the problems the player was going through, they were calm and confident that Rossi would get back up on his feet.
And that is exactly what they did.
Rossi made his debut for the club against Pescara in the final game of last season, his first competitive appearance in well over a year and a half. The summer window saw Jovetic and Ljajic wave their goodbyes, a sign of the faith that Fiorentina had placed in Rossi who was now on his way to full fitness. With each passing day, the confidence would grow in tandem with his strength.
One step at a time
Rossi would impress in pre-season and combined admirably with star arrival – Mario Gomez. The stage was set for his Serie A return and Rossi didn’t disappoint. After great work by Cuadrado in the box, the 26 year old slotted past Mariano Andujar with his weaker right leg, the same leg that caused him months of pain was now a source of joy. Rossi celebrated with his arms wide open and looking towards the sky, he let out a scream of delight.
You could see how emotional a moment this was for the Italian, who went through months of torment and you couldn’t help but feel a sense of happiness for him. This was a feel-good moment, a triumph over injury of sorts. Rossi has quickly gone on to become the darling of Calcio watchers.
Fast forward a week and the former Man Utd man would get himself on score-sheet yet again, not once but twice. There was an element of fortuity behind his first goal while the second one was an easy tap in. What stood out was his burgeoning partnership with Mario Gomez. Vincenzo Montella called them the ‘perfect couple’ as the duo both hit braces against Genoa.
His recent string of excellent performances bears testament not only to his quality but also to the mental fortitude he has shown. Indeed it does take great mental capacity to recover from one injuries let alone two but Rossi was not one to let the ghosts of his injuries haunt him.
With three goals already in the campaign, the inevitable question about a potential call-up to national side pops up. An integral part of the Azzurri set-up under Prandelli, prior to his injury, Rossi will be eyeing a spot in next year’s World Cup squad. Prandelli was quick to let the media aware that he was closely following Rossi but also noted that his call-up shouldn’t be rushed. When Prandelli does decide to take the step of bringing him into his side remains to be seen however, if Rossi manages to maintain his fitness and keep up his form, it’s only a matter of time before he does.
For now, it’s one step at a time for Beppe Rossi. He hasn’t yet fully come up to speed but he’s well on his way. The Italian International will want to put the black mark of his injury woes firmly behind and is ready to take on the next chapter in his career – a Purple patch may just be around the corner.