Prandelli: Rossi must focus on recovery
Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi should just focus on getting fit again and not worry about his place at the World Cup, according to Italy coach Cesare Prandelli.
The Serie A top scorer faces a race against time to be fit for this summer’s finals in Brazil after suffering knee ligament damage earlier this month.
However, Prandelli says he will be given all the time he needs to prove he is fit to board a plane in June.
"'Pepito' Rossi just needs to remain serene," Prandelli told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "He knows how highly I rate him and that I will wait for him right to the very end. He's showing great character and I've called him, although it's not so easy to find the right words in this type of situation."
More than the actual ligament damage, it is the psychological blow of yet another injury that Rossi's teammate Alberto Aquilani believes is the greatest hurdle for the 26-year-old to overcome on his road to recovery.
"Unfortunately, it's his third injury in a short space of time so the problem for him is going to be more of a mental one than a physical one," Aquilani said. "It's a tough blow which would be hard for anybody to recover from."
Aquilani is no stranger to long-term injury agony, missing almost nine months with an ankle injury in 2009. However, he believes Rossi has the strength of character and resolve to bounce back once again.
"Pepito is an amazing lad and I just hope he doesn't let this get him down," Aquilani said. "He has been so looking forward to the World Cup during his first few months here and this injury has knocked him back a bit, but let's see if this visit to the USA can give him the opportunity to dream again."
Aquilani is also dreaming of being one of Rossi's teammates in South America, telling La Gazzetta: "Hope springs eternal, which is why I'll do all I can in these last six months of the season with Fiorentina to earn my call, even though I know full well that there are plenty of other players with the exact same desire.”