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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Giuseppe Rossi: "I was thinking in Italian. But 'vamos' came out and then 'let's go'. "

Giuseppe Rossi gave an extensive interview from South Africa today with Riccardo Pratesi of La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Rossi now plays his club football for Villarreal in La Liga. He is participating in his first senior international tournament for the Azzurri. He was the leading goal scorer for the 2008 Italian Olympic team in Beijing.

Here is my translation.

On Bruce Arena and the US National team:

"The story is like this: When I was young (and not joking because he is still only 22), about 18, Bruce Arena, then the American national team manager, wanted me with him for the 2006 World Cup team, but my dream was Italy. My decision was made. American Dream? Surely it is the mentality that I have. I want to realize my dreams and always do more."

On why he went to Europe:

"I always dreamed to become a professional footballer, in Italy it is easier to become one. You can also become one in the USA, but in Europe it is easier."

On choosing the Azzurri over the USA:

"They (his family) were happy, but they have always supported the Azzurri. And I am pleased by their support."

"If Lippi selected me also for humane qualities? I look to be myself all the time. I am a calm guy, simple actually. But then on the pitch, you have to demonstrate that the pasta is ready."

On returning to the Italian top-flight:

"A return to the Serie A? I am concentrated upon the Confederations Cup, we will see. But I like everything about Italian football. It is a difficult football, and I like the pressure. I have always been an AC Milan fan, my idols were Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten. If Adriano Galliani (VP of Milan) called me? I would answer, hello."

On his controversial goal-scoring celebration versus the USA:

"I was thinking in Italian, but 'vamos' came out and then 'let's go'."

"America is home because I have family there. I lived there until I was 13 years of age. But I was in Italy for 5 to 6 years, and I grew as a player, and therefore Italy is an important part of me."

On his experience with Manchester United:

"If Manchester United wants you, you walk there. I spent 3 years with United. It was my first time with the senior side, and it was a great experience. The growth of English soccer is something that I expected. There are cycles, in the 1990s Italian football dominated, there is a perpetual evolution."

Italian Source: Riccardo Pratesi, La Gazzetta dello Sport, "Rossi e il suo American dream. 'Da sempre ho voluto l'Italia', 16 June 2009.


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