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 By Ben Gladwell
Jun 3, 2014

Rossi's grandfather to support U.S.

FC's Gab Marcotti gives us some insight into why New Jersey-born Giuseppe Rossi was left off Italy's 23-man roster for the World Cup.

Giuseppe Rossi's grandfather says he is so disgusted by his grandson's omission from Italy's Word Cup squad that he will be supporting the U.S. instead this summer.

- Horncastle: Rossi follows in Baggio's footsteps

Bruno Petrocelli has also branded Italy coach Cesare Prandelli a traitor for leaving out the Fiorentina forward, who has only recently returned from a serious knee injury.

The news of Rossi's exclusion came as a shock to the player and his family, surprising many others in Italy who had expected him to lead the Azzurri's attack in Brazil together with Mario Balotelli.

"What Prandelli has done is a travesty," Petrocelli told RAI Radio 2. "He's raised my grandson's hopes, then he's betrayed him. I'm going to support the U.S. because there are traitors in Italy. It's upset all of us because we didn't expect it. Only two days ago, Prandelli had warm words for him."

Petrocelli continued: "[Prandelli's] not good enough to judge my grandson and there's nothing more I can say. I know that my grandson's fit and he has a medical certificate to prove it.

"Pepito is well prepared, he's in good shape and he didn't deserve something like this. My grandson has experience in other countries too."

Prandelli named Lorenzo Insigne, Antonio Cassano, Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci alongside Balotelli as the five forwards he will be taking to Brazil.

His decision was influenced by the findings from last summer's Confederations Cup, where Italy ran out of energy towards the end of the tournament, prompting Prandelli to make physical condition one of the leading criteria for the composition of his squad.

Nevertheless, before Rossi aggravated a previous tear to his cruciate knee ligament in January, Prandelli had also gone on record to say how the Fiorentina forward would have been his first-choice alongside Balotelli in Brazil.

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