The Reinvention of Fiorentina and Italy's Giuseppe Rossi

Matteo BonettiContributor IDecember 9, 2013

FLORENCE, ITALY - NOVEMBER 10: Giuseppe Rossi  of ACF Fiorentina celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and UC Sampdoria at Stadio Artemio Franchi on November 10, 2013 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

The reinvention of Giuseppe Rossi has been one of the most remarkable stories in all of sport.

After suffering two catastrophic knee injuries which kept him out of the game for nearly two years, the American-born striker Giuseppe Rossi has had a fairy-tale comeback with Fiorentina—the team that decided to take a chance on him when they signed him from Villarreal in the last January transfer window.

The striker has battled the latest torn anterior cruciate ligament injury to his knee and has come back in stunning fashion.

Rossi has been astoundingly prolific, scoring 12 goals in the first 14 games of the season in Serie A. It's no surprise that he's the current Capocannoniere, having netted more strikes than anyone else in the league.

It seems that the Italian international has found the perfect system that's ideally suited to his skillset. When Mario Gomez comes back from injury, he'll be even more effective as he'll be able to play off of the hulking German.

Rossi is perfect for Viola coach Vincenzo Montella's highly offensive 4-3-3 formation, where he can be slotted as a right winger where he's able to cut the ball onto his fantastic left foot. 

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Fiorentina has a Barcelona-esque possession quality about them, which also helps Rossi as he's surrounded by playmakers in the midfield. Any one of the three men in the center—Borja Valero, Alberto Aquilani and David Pizarro—are able to play the perfect surging pass to find Rossi in space.

Since Gomez's injury, Rossi has had to play as a lone striker up front and has succeeded despite playing out of position. Gomez is expected to be fully fit within weeks, so don't be surprised if the Viola finally make it to the top three in the Serie A standings.

Rossi's prolific strike rate in front of goal was highlighted in the 4-2 win against Juventus, when Rossi led the comeback by scoring a hat-trick against their bitter rivals this season. The match showed Europe that Fiorentina is for real, and they can go toe-to-toe against the fiercest of opposition.

Adding to the feel-good story, Italian national team coach Cesare Prandelli has started calling him up again, where he has partnered Mario Balotelli in the attack.

The partnership between Rossi and Balotelli has the potential to be one of the best in the world, as both are highly technical and great finishers from outside the box and both have a creative instinct. 

If all goes well, expect this to be one of the most high-powered Italian offenses that we've seen in a long time.

Rossi shares a laugh with Azzurri teammates
Rossi shares a laugh with Azzurri teammatesClaudio Villa/Getty Images

Assuming Pepito can stay injury free, he will spearhead the Azzurri throughout the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, giving them yet another multidimensional force up front who can change the tide of the game with one moment of unbridled brilliance.

One can only hope that Rossi can remain injury free now after suffering through so much hardship. However, his drive and demeanor has been the most impressive characteristic, far more than his technical left foot.

With an injury that can effectively end the career of some players, Rossi made it his mission to come back even better than before.