In the summer of 2007 he was sold to Villarreal for £6.6 million - a year later he was one of Europe’s most in form strikers, and a regular in the Italian national team. Giuseppe Rossi is certainly a player Manchester United probably regret letting go.
In 2010-11 he was sensational, scoring 32 goals in 56 appearances, and for 2011-12 it appeared the future was bright for the then 23-year-old.
However, on the 26th October 2011 Rossi tore his anterior cruciate ligament in a game against Real Madrid and he was out for six months, in April 2012 he suffered the same injury and his career looked in tatters.
They took a risk, and in January 2012 splashed out €10 million on his signature - despite the fact he was still recovering from his latest serious injury.
It is a gamble that has paid off. After spending the first six months of his Fiorentina deal in recovery he got himself fully fit over the summer - and has been in scintillating form ever since.
His 14 goals this Serie A season sees him top of goal-scoring charts and he was back in the Italian team - ready to lead from the front in Brazil next summer.
Until this week, when his injury ravaged past reared its ugly head. Rossi went down under a hard challenge from Leandro Rinaudo of Livorno on Sunday - and immediately clutched the pieced together knee.
So far though, so good. It is reported he will only miss a couple of months. The immediate fear was that Rossi faced a grim summer like that of Arsenal’s Theo Walcott - and would once again miss international selection for a major tournament - after missing the World Cup in 2010 and European Championships in 2012.
But despite the early allaying of fears - Rossi is still travelling back to his second home for a second opinion.
Rossi had his knee treated on a second time by infamous knee surgeon Dr Richard Steadman. Considered the ‘best knee guy’ on the planet, and credited with saving the careers of Alan Shearer, Michael Owen and Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Steadman will assess the injury to Rossi first - as Rossi will reportedly not take anyone else’s opinion - according to his agent:
"We will leave for the United States this week and see doctor Steadman, who knows better than anyone Giuseppe's knee. After his first operation, Giuseppe decided to go to professor Steadman and he is the only one that he wants to go and see."
A trip to America is also a casual vacation for Rossi. Born in New Jersey - he was even called up by the USMNT as a teenager.
But despite early reports in Italy suggesting he will be out for two to three months - and be fit for the World Cup - Rossi and his agent are not getting carried away just yet:
"We are taking it one day at a time. The World Cup is in five months' time but we are not looking that far ahead. Injuries are part of this profession. We will see what we can do in order for the player to return as soon as possible."
Over to you Doc…
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