Jurgen Klinessman is not the only national team coach making head scratching squad decisions for this summer’s World Cup. Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has opted for Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne over Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi.
Rossi missed four months of the season between January and May after suffering another right-knee injury, but despite scoring two goals in four games for Fiorentina since returning on May 3, and playing well in Italy’s 0-0 draw with Ireland on Saturday, it was Insigne that got the nod.
Also not going to Brazil is Roma striker Mattia Destro, despite scoring 13 gold for Roma this season. Insigne by comparison scored three times for Napoli. You have to wonder where the goals for the Azzurri will come from in Brazil as Mario Balotelli, Antonio Cassano and Torino strike partners Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci will not keep England or Uruguay defenders up at night.
Not going to Brazil will be a big blow to Rossi who also missed out on South Africa 2010 when then Italy coach Marcello Lippi did not pick him, a move that Lippi said recently that he regretted. Now, Rossi will have to wait until 2018 — when he’ll be 31 — for a chance to play in the World Cup.
Complete Italy squad:
Defenders: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan), Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Torino), Mattia De Sciglio (AC Milan), Gabriel Paletta (Parma).
Midfielders: Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Daniele De Rossi (Roma), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Thiago Motta (Paris Saint-Germain), Marco Parolo (Parma), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).