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Euro 2016

Rossi saddened by World Cup omission

Giuseppe Rossi has expressed his disappointment at being left out of Italy's World Cup squad, saying suggestions that he is not fit enough to cope with the strains of the tournament are false.

- Rzouki: Rossi and Montolivo left behind

Azzurri coach Cesare Prandelli opted for Parma's Antonio Cassano and Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne over the Fiorentina striker, who only returned from a five-month injury absence for the final few games of the Serie A season.

Despite his spell on the sidelines, Rossi, 27, felt he had proven that he had returned to peak condition and, via Twitter, dismissed claims he was not fit enough.

"Just ask anybody who has seen the results of the tests last week, and of the game. You'd be surprised. Scared of tackles? What a joke..." he wrote in the first of three tweets on Monday morning.

The suggestion that Rossi had tried to avoid challenges in the 0-0 friendly draw against Republic of Ireland on Saturday appeared to have particularly riled the striker.

"I just think quicker than the defender," he wrote. "Next time I'll act like an amateur and wait for the defender, just so that I can get kicked. That's just a little thing I wanted to make clear. Now the most important thing is supporting Italy, though. Forza Azzurri!!"

Rossi's agent Andrea Pastorello had earlier said the former Manchester United and Villarreal player would not make a fuss about his omission.

"It's an exclusion which we accept with disappointment, but without being controversial because that wouldn't help in any way," Pastorello told ANSA.

"We know how difficult decisions are, but only Prandelli knows the reason -- it's his responsibility and I don't think that one match makes a difference.

"Giuseppe has gone through five months of incredible sacrifices, but sadly this was not enough. His exclusion hurts also because of this. But when decisions of this nature have to be made, there are only two things you can do -- accept them and do so serenely. There's no alternative.

"I personally did not have any expectations. I've been in football for a long time and there's nothing I haven't seen before. [Giuseppe] will now rest a bit and switch himself off a bit, also psychologically, before thinking about what comes next."

Riccardo Montolivo also suffered the disappointment in missing out on a place in Italy's World Cup squad.

The AC Milan midfielder fractured his tibia during Saturday's friendly, having led the team out as captain at Craven Cottage, and will undergo surgery on Monday.

"It was a real blow, but your affection has brought a smile back to my face," he wrote on Twitter. "I'll be a fan of my teammates with all of you."


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