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Why Italy Made a Mistake Taking Alberto Aquilani over Giuseppe Rossi

FLORENCE, ITALY - MAY 27:  Giuseppe Rossi of Italy during a training session at Coverciano on May 27, 2014 in Florence, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Matteo BonettiContributor IJune 9, 2014

Taking both Alberto Aquilani and Marco Parolo, two midfielders who essentially cancel each other out, is a waste of a spot in Italy's 23-man squad when you consider that Giuseppe Rossi will be left home.

It's unfortunate that Lorenzo Insigne is the one who many thought as the competition to Rossi to get to Brazil, as the Neapolitan striker is very talented and offers a different dimension to Giuseppe, playing on the opposite side of the trident as well.

Alberto Aquilani has been mediocre for the national team
Alberto Aquilani has been mediocre for the national teamClaudio Villa/Getty Images

Rossi had an unfortunate season with Fiorentina, leading the Serie A charts with 14 goals before succumbing to an injury around Christmas, which caused him to miss the majority of the second half of the season.

For a striker that has virtually played only four months in the past three years, the comeback Giuseppe Rossi has made is nothing short of remarkable.

On the other hand, Alberto Aquilani and Marco Parolo are the two midfielders that will travel to Brazil because of the injury to Riccardo Montolivo.

Neither of these players will start nor will they see much time behind the likes of Thiago Motta, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Marco Verratti and Antonio Candreva.

Aquilani hasn't particularly performed well for the national team recently, while Parolo is largely untested at this level but gives Prandelli a jack-of-all-trades engine in the midfield.

Giuseppe Rossi should have traveled in place of Aquilani, as plenty of the attacking options that made the final 23-man cut can play in a variety of positions if Prandelli does indeed go with the 4-3-3 formation.

Rossi takes a shot against Ireland
Rossi takes a shot against IrelandClaudio Villa/Getty Images

Rossi had a fine outing in Italy's friendly against Ireland, where he was deployed from the first minute and didn't look like he had missed a beat this entire calendar year.

His movements were quick and precise. He also showed a creative flair that is just another part of his all-around game, setting up a few moves as well as getting out of some sticky situations with the defense hounding him.

More than anything, Rossi looked like he was able to play from the first minute, or at the very least be used as an impact substitute in the second half of a match.

It's no surprise that many fans were shocked by the decision. Rossi had trained so hard to make a courageous comeback, and judging from the 70 minutes he had against Ireland, it looked like he had fully recovered.

Unfortunately, the Azzurri will be without one of their main attacking weapons, while the midfield sits deep with plenty of midfielders who offer similar attributes.

For Rossi, this was a golden chance for him to finally play in the greatest competition in football, but luck was once again his main nemesis. 

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