World Cup - Star turns down place in Italy squad

Romulo says Cesare Prandelli had included him in his World Cup 23, but he advised the Italy coach to select someone else.

World Cup - Star turns down place in Italy squad

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2014, Romulo, Italy

The Brazilian born utility man was one of six players alongside the injured Riccardo Montolivo to be confirmed on Sunday evening as having lost out on a place in Italy’s squad to head out to Brazil this summer.

However, the 27-year-old has suggested that his omission was more based on his say than Prandelli’s.

“Prandelli had included me in the 23,” Romulo is today quoted by the Corriere della Sera.

“I told him that I was at 70 per cent, it did not seem right that a team-mate would sit out whilst being fine.”

One player who was certainly hoping that fitness concerns wouldn't leave him out was, Giuseppe Rossi, but the former Manchester United striker was left baffled after missing out on a third major tournament in a row.

Rossi, who has just recovered from his latest knee injury, took part in a week's training and played Saturday's friendly against Ireland, only to be left out come the final cut.

Rossi poured scorn on suggestions that he was still not fully fit.

"Everyone is saying I'm out of shape: ask anyone the results of the tests from last week and from the match," said the American-born forward on Twitter on Monday.

"You will be surprised. Challenges? Fear? What a laugh," added Rossi, who is probably Italy's most reliable forward when fully fit. "The most important thing now is to support Italy."

And the 27-year-old’s representative has revealed that was the truth.

“I’m sorry for the lad,” Alex Firmino told TuttoMercatoWeb. “He had some physical discomfort and that would have been a problem at the World Cup.

“Romulo told the truth. He’s only 70 per cent fit. He’s an honest guy.

“We’re grateful however to Prandelli, who has shown great faith in him. Obviously we’re disappointed, but we believe that all this hard work will pay off in the end.

“Now we turn the page and see whether he’ll stay at Verona or return to [parent club] Fiorentina.”

Initial reaction was mixed.

Fans of Rossi's club Fiorentina, a team Prandelli used to coach, were furious, but some commentators said the coach had been consistent with his previous declarations that he would not take any players who were not fully match fit.

Rossi made his Italy debut against Bulgaria in 2008 and played in the Confederations Cup the following year, scoring twice in a 3-1 win over United States.

That brought vitriolic criticism from American fans, angry that Rossi, who was born in the U.S. and lived there until he was 12, had chosen to play for the country of his parents' instead.

Rossi's unlucky run began when he just missed out on being selected for the 2010 World Cup by coach Marcello Lippi.

The following year, he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury while playing for Villarreal in a Spanish league match.

He fought desperately to be fit for Euro 2012, only to re-injure the knee in training the following April, causing him to miss the tournament.

He made an excellent comeback with Fiorentina this season, scoring 14 goals by early January to make him Serie A's leading scorer.

However, he then suffered a less serious injury, a second degree sprain to the medial collateral ligament, in the same knee which sidelined him until the start of this month.

Read the original article on Football Italia - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Italian football

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