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8:00 PM UTC
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4
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Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 3
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 By Ben Gladwell

Giuseppe Rossi regrets choosing Italy over United States - agent

The agent of Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi has admitted that the player may have made a mistake by choosing to represent Italy over the United States.

Born in New Jersey, but with Italian parents, Rossi opted to play for the Squadra Azzurra having made a name for himself at Parma and Villarreal. He has played 30 times for Italy and scored seven goals, but the former Manchester United player has not featured since playing against the Republic of Ireland precisely two years ago.

He missed the 2014 World Cup through injury and has never been in consideration for a place in the squad since Antonio Conte took charge, whereas he may have been a candidate for the United States at the Copa America this summer, if he had chosen differently in 2008.

"In hindsight, going back to when he chose between representing Italy or the USA, we should have chosen the USA," Pastorino told Radio Bruno.

Giuseppe Rossi is not ruling out playing next season with Fiorentina, his agent said.

While Rossi cannot now go back, he can look forward and that is what he is now doing, considering where he will be playing next season. He still has a year left to run on his contract with Fiorentina, having spent the second half of last season on loan at Levante, and Pastorino has not ruled out him staying in Florence.

"I don't think Levante will sign Rossi permanently -- that's the impression we've got," Pastorino said. "It's not the kind of transfer a second-division side can make. As for Fiorentina, I can't exclude anything. We need to see what kind of tactics the coach is going to use and see if Rossi is suited to them.

"We left in January because Giuseppe wasn't playing. If things were to change compared to 2015, I can't exclude Rossi staying, otherwise I think it's unlikely.

"There have been some rumours about other clubs, but there's nothing definite. Given the relationship we have with Fiorentina, the Della Valles [Fiorentina's owners] and the city, we're only going to sit out the rest of his contract if the club agrees. Pepito was bought by Fiorentina at an extremely difficult moment of his career and we recognise that."

Pastorino does not think his injury-ravaged past is now an issue, however.

"Giuseppe had some difficulty in terms of the quality in Spain because he didn't have the kind of players alongside him that he had at Fiorentina," he said.

"But his performances got better and better in all aspects. Of course the many injuries stick in the mind of a footballer, but he always looked determined on the field, even going in for the dangerous tackles."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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