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When Giuseppe Rossi signed for Villarreal as a 20-year-old, he had successfully dealt with several events that tested his resolve.
He was a standout for Manchester United's reserve team and even with a goal-scoring record that Giorgio Chinaglia would be proud of, Rossi was never given a fair run with the first team.
There was the disastrous loan spell at Newcastle United, yet he took a more optimistic view:
Everything you do in life is an experience, even if it's not all positive. Of course I would have liked to have played more games but the few appearances I did make definitely helped me progress and grow as a player. I got to know Obafemi Martins well—he's a top striker. He played in Italy for a couple of years so we talked a lot about Serie A.
Rossi has taken the high road when it comes to dealing with irrational United States supporters. Yes, he's a New Jersey boy but he received his chance because of an Italian scout. He was trained in Parma's youth system and he represented the Azzurri U-16, U-17, U-18, U-21 and Olympic sides.
Surprise, surprise—he decided to choose Italy over the U.S. It's disgraceful that parts of Team USA's fan base go out of their way to abuse Rossi with such vitriol that should only be reserved for someone as vile as El Hadji Diouf.
When Rossi did his cruciate ligament in a 3-0 loss to Real Madrid last October, at a time where he was playing the best football of his life, he had built up the mental fortitude to cope with the anxiety of such a serious injury—140 days later, he tore his ACL again.
Rossi's long-term absence heavily factored in Villarreal's relegation to the Segunda División.