From Manchester United to SPAL: Giuseppe Rossi’s last dance

by | Nov 19, 2021 14:38

After Giuseppe Rossi signed a contract until June 2022 with SPAL, Football Italia recaps the career of one of the best – and unluckiest – Italian talents of the 2000s.

SPAL President Joe Tacopina has confirmed that Rossi will get back to playing with the Serie B side after training for several weeks with the club.

The former Fiorentina striker isn’t fully fit yet as he hasn’t had a club since January when his contract with Salt Lake expired.

Rossi has been one of Italy’s finest talents over the last decade and arguably one of the unluckiest players to have ever donned the Azzurri shirt.

His football career began in the US, where he played for NJ Stallions before moving to Italy at 12.

A product of Parma academy, Rossi joined Manchester United’s academy in 2004, at the age of 17.

He made his Manchester United debut under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2004, coming on as a substitute in a League Cup clash against Crystal Palace and scored on his Premier League debut against Sunderland in 2005.

Rossi left Old Trafford after four goals in 14 appearances, joining Newcastle United on loan in 2006. However, he struggled with playing time with the Magpies and returned to Parma in January 2007. He scored nine goals in 19 appearances and played a key role in the Ducali’s Serie A survival.

United sold him to Villareal for €11m the following summer, despite interest from several Serie A clubs.

Official: Giuseppe Rossi signs for Spal

The La Liga side are the team with whom Rossi has played more games in his career. He scored 54 goals in 136 appearances with the Yellow Submarine.

The 34-year-old made his senior Italy debut in 2008 under Marcello Lippi, scoring seven goals in 30 appearances.

However, his career has been harmed by several injuries, which never allowed him to fulfil his real potential.

Rossi has suffered four cruciate anterior ligament injuries. The first one at Villareal in 2011, which kept him out of action for nearly two years.

He returned to the pitch with Fiorentina, in 2013, making his debut with La Viola in May. He suffered a new knee injury in January 2014 and remained on the treatment table for four months, ending the season with 17 goals in 24 appearances.

Among those, there’s a hat-trick he scored in Fiorentina’s 4-2 win over Antonio Conte’s Juventus. La Viola recovered from two goals down and claimed all three points in one of the most entertaining Serie A games of the last decade.

He missed the entire 2014-15 campaign due to several muscle injuries and a new knee surgery that he underwent in September 2014 in Colorado.

Hoping to get an Italy call-up to Euro 2016, Rossi left Fiorentina in January 2016 as he was struggling with playing time under Paulo Sousa.

He joined Levante on loan, but the La Liga side could not avoid relegation despite his six goals. Rossi once again left Fiorentina on loan the following season, moving to Celta Vigo.

He scored a hat-trick in his side’s 3-1 win over Eibar, but six days later, he suffered a new knee injury that kept him from action for six months. Therefore, Fiorentina didn’t extend his contract.

Rossi joined Genoa in 2017, but only managed one goal in nine appearances in 2017-18.

From January 2019, he trained with Manchester United and Villareal before signing a contract with Real Salt Lake. The MLS side was his last club, but Rossi is now back for a last dance with SPAL in Serie B.


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