The wonder kid of the 2008 Olympic Games and 2009 Confederations Cup is headed back to Italy. It seems like yesterday the soccer world was gifted with the small, but mighty Giuseppe Rossi. The striking forward burst onto the scene at age 21, scoring 4 goals for Italy in those two international tournaments played less than 12 months apart.
Rossi was born in the USA but is also a citizen of his parents’ native Italy. So it was easy to see why both Italian ultras and American Outlaws were excited by the prospect of enjoying the future exploits of such a young talent.
Rossi on the road
It has not been a smooth road for Rossi however, now aged 30 years old. Throughout his career, he has spent time with the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle United, Parma, Villarreal, and Fiorentina. As of late, he has spent the last two seasons on loan with Levante and Celta in La Liga.
This year the striker has been out of contract since July as the four-year-deal he signed in 2013 with Fiorentina has expired. Rossi has also been recovering from another ACL injury since April. Injury has plagued the New Jersey native’s career since his early years, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. With Genoa, he has an opportunity to prove he is capable of playing in a top league against top competitors such as Inter, Juventus, AC Milan, Roma, and Lazio.
The move does suit both parties as Genoa is seeking more goals and better play, while Rossi is looking for consistent play time and a place to settle down. Genoa are in a time of transition as the sacking of Ivan Juric has forced Davide Ballardini to enter his third spell with the club. The welcoming of Rossi to the club could also help ignite some of Genoa’s younger talent in Eddie Salcedo, Diego Laxalt, Thomas Rodriguez, Federico Ricci, and Pietro Pellegri.
End of the road?
The once promising young American and Italian star that fans were excited about is closer now the end of his career than the beginning. But he still has time to find his form and place his name in contention for Italy’s Euro 2020 squad. Rossi wasn’t selected to Cesare Prandelli’s final World Cup side in 2014, but with Italy recently failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the door is open for anyone who can make an impact. It’s just a thought and Rossi will have to prove to everyone he is capable, but if he can remain healthy and re-capture some of his ‘early career’ form, anything is possible.
Will the road back begin in Genoa?
Genoa currently sit 16th in the Serie A table with 3 wins, 13 points, and 14 goals scored, desperate for a turnaround. Could Rossi be the man to uplift such a struggling squad and lead them to a higher position or will his age and injury epidemic be a factor in his play?