The 27-year-old missed four months after suffering a cruciate ligament injury in January—his second injury to the same area and fourth overall in the last six years.
Yet he made the 30-man provisional squad and played 71 minutes against the Republic of Ireland before being cut.
He may not have impressed against Ireland, but should his pre-injury form—he netted 14 goals in just 17 Serie A matches—have merited inclusion for the tournament?
It was always unlikely Prandelli would take six forwards, so conjecture over whether Rossi should have been included when Riccardo Montolivo dropped out due to injury is simply that: conjecture.
Nevertheless, when midfielders unlikely to feature—such as Alberto Aquilani and Marco Parolo—have been taken, the question must be asked: Can Prandelli be justified in not finding a space for Rossi?
Here, we take a look at three possible reasons for Prandelli's decision not to take Rossi to the World Cup.