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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Translated Excerpts from "A Modo Mio" (My Way) by Giuseppe Rossi with Alessandra Bocci

Photo credit:
Kirk Edwards Photography
of Brooklyn, New York.


ACF Fiorentina star and Italian international, Giuseppe Rossi, writes his autobiography assisted by sports journalist, Alessandra Bocci.

Discussion Items:

1. Influence of his father, Fernando.
2. Being Italian-American.
3. His time at Parma.
4. Why he played for the Azzurri.
5. Manchester United and SAF.
6. Importance of Spain in his career.
7. Controversial goal-scoring celebration versus USA.
8. His perspective on penalty kicks.
9. His view on journalists.
10. How he deals with social media.
11. His near-misses to play at a World Cup.
12. Florence and Fiorentina.
13. Authorized translated excerpts.

ACF Fiorentina star and Italian international, Giuseppe Rossi, didn't allow a series of near-career ending injuries to derail his fighting spirit:
"When you end up on the canvas, you know that you have to get back up on your feet and start over again even stronger than before."
That was the back cover quote in Rossi's detailed autobiography, "A Modo Mio" (My Way), which was co-authored by the Italian sports journalist, Alessandra Bocci. The book was published by Arnoldo Mondadori Editore in December 2014.
"When you are injured, you hear a deaf silence inside of yourself and this is the one thing that frightens you the most.... Crutches are symbols of the fragility of an athlete and his weaknesses. In my mind, crutches don't exist. I've experienced them often enough but they never were a part of my thoughts."
Let's take a longer look as Rossi discusses his battles with serious injuries, an Italian-American childhood, time in Parma's youth ranks, experiences in England, ascent at Villarreal, journey with the Azzurri, and now a return to the peninsula with La Viola.

With the Clifton Stallions in 1997 at the age of 10.

1. The influence of his father, Fernando:

"My father is now in the Hall of Fame of our high school in Clifton, New Jersey. He never was afraid to appear to be too Italian. He loved the game and tried to spread it around for his entire life. He never discussed money with me in a country that thinks a lot about it."

2. Being Italian-American:

"America is an idea that supports and guides me. Because I'm an Italian who was born in New Jersey and this is my dual nature. Love, art, beauty, innovation and courage: An exceptional cocktail."

3. Parma:

"I left home at the age of 12; therefore, I can't say that I've lived a normal life up until now... 

I went first to Parma with my father. Then my mother and sister joined us. I also experienced school in a different way because when you are a footballer, you encounter many teachers who in a certain sense, challenge you. I was an American and played football... I knew I had to study a few hours more (than others)." 

4. Why he decided to play for the Azzurri:

"My choice was a natural one. I'm American but in a football sense, I feel Italian. In the environment where I grew up, only Italian calcio existed, and I wanted to become a part of that world...

From childhood, the Italy shirt was a dream for me. And when I began to play, it also became an objective... I also feel like a representative of all Italian-Americans who would have wanted to attain the same goal."

5. Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson:

"Manchester is a city full of nice people and will always be a special place for me and my family. Manchester confirmed that Giuseppe Rossi, who was still not yet christened 'Pepito,' could become a top player...

When I was at Manchester United, (Sir Alex) Ferguson said to me: 'Giuseppe, I see that you dribble well with your left. You need to try to do the same thing on the right.' I was still young but his advice stayed in my mind also because it was the same thing that my father had recommended."

6. The importance of Spain in his development:

The UEFA Turn and Volley Challenge in 2011 at Villarreal.

"Spain is a fantastic place to play football and synchronizes very well with my American soul: Technique, impassioned fans, velocity of play, and the great spectacle. In Spain you live like a god. The fans discuss the games, are passionate, but don't suffocate you."

7. His controversial celebration versus the USA at the 2009 Confederations Cup:

Rossi facing the USA at the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa.

"Some in the USA called me a traitor...

Scoring a brace in the national team shirt is not a usual thing and a few strikers better than I have never done it. When it happened to me, I felt something explode inside of me. I celebrated (the goals) and some critiques arrived from America. I can understand them and apologize. But the emotion when you score, wearing that shirt, is too strong to contain."

8. His perspective on penalty kicks:

"A penalty kick is a psychological war, a duel from ancient times, but also, it is poetry. It is perhaps the most romantic of football plays."

9. His view on journalists:

"I have never argued with a journalist. Whoever wants to write something and is not sufficiently informed creates a terrible impression. And if reflects on him; not on me."

10. How he deals with social media:

"The beauty of Twitter is to feel in contact with the world and to have the patience for those who write bad things to me. Whoever does such a thing hides behind a screen and I don't have time to waste asking myself what the hidden reasons are that prompted them." 

11. His near-misses to play at a World Cup:

"My Moby Dick is called the World Cup. I've had so many problems to reach the whale, and I'm still looking for it. But the quest is essential for the maturation of a human being and I'm convinced, sooner or later, that I'll get there."

12. Florence and Fiorentina:

His goals during 2013/2014 with ACF Fiorentina.

"Fiorentina is the club who took a risk to take me because it's difficult to invest in a player who had been injured for such a long time and this gives me a great motivation...

I feel in debt to Florence and to Fiorentina. I could have been out of football at the highest levels, and Florence gave me an enormous possibility. We found each other and loved each other. If I worked, sweated for hours and hours every day, it was also due to this reason: To demonstrate that they didn't make a mistake..."

13. Authorized Translated Excerpts:

I have received a complimentary review copy of this book from a representative of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore in Milan, Italy. I was not financially compensated by the publisher, co-authors or any other party for this article. 

My translated excerpts were approved by a representative of Arnoldo Mondadori Editore prior to publication and are exclusive to World Football Commentaries.

(c) 2014 Arnoldo Mondadori Editore S.p.A., Milano.

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Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator based in Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and published The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015.

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