New Jersey born football (soccer) player Giuseppe Rossi has catapulted
into the limelight at the Confederations Cup tournament being played in
South Africa. But the young star is not wearing the red, white, and
blue flag of the United States.
When the United States
soccer (football) team met Italy in the first round of the
Confederations Cup in South Africa, American-born players outscored
Italians, 3-1. There were no own goals, the term used when a team puts
the ball in its own net, but the Italians still took away a 3-1 victory
in the end.
Son of Italian immigrants
That paradox was made possible by New Jersey native
Giuseppe Rossi, the son of Italian immigrants, who has elected to wear
the dark blue shirt of the Italian national team on the international
Rossi left the United States at an early age to begin
training in the youth ranks of Italian Serie A team Parma. When he was
still a youth, English giants Manchester United swept the player off to
the United Kingdom, where he developed under the watchful gaze of
manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Even as he spent most of his time
with Manchester's reserves, Rossi's potential became apparent. Then
American team national coach Bruce Arena had conversations with Rossi,
who was then in his teens, about joining the US team leading up to the
2006 World Cup in Germany, but the player rebuffed the offer, intent on
playing for Italy.
American prolific scorer
Unhappy with the lack of playing time in
England, Rossi bounced around the European continent on loan with
different teams before settling this year at Spanish team Villarreal,
where he scored 12 goals in the competitive Spanish Liga, making the
22-year-old already the most prolific American scorer in the history of
the league, considered to be among the world's best.
Rossi had a
successful stint leading the Italian Olympic team at the Beijing
Olympics, before joining the full team this summer. He scored his
first international goal in a friendly match leading up to the
Prospects for World Cup in South Africa
Now, Rossi has his sights set on next year's World Cup in South Africa.
in the World Cup is always a dream for everybody, not just mine," he
said. "The facilities are great here, the people are great. It's going
to be a nice Confederations Cup here, and I'm sure it's going to be a
great World Cup."
After defeating the United States, the
Italians dropped their second Confederations Cup match to Egypt in a
1-0 upset. They will now take on Brazil in their final match as they
look to make the semifinals.