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Jersey Week: Giuseppe Rossi

Please don’t sack me

Manchester United Training and Press Conference
Rossi training with Manchester United
Photo by Manchester United/Manchester United via Getty Images

Giuseppe Rossi joined Manchester United in 2004 as a youth player, after making the switch from Italian side Parma. He had played as a youngster in Italy from 2000 onwards before being poached when United bought out the player’s contract when he was 17.

Rossi made his professional debut for United in 2004 when he came on as a substitute in the last few minutes of a League Cup game against Crystal Palace. He scored his first goal for the club in October 2005 coming on as a substitute in a 3-1 win at Sunderland.

The Italian struggled to break through into the first team at United with Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud van Nistelrooy (who left for Real Madrid in 2006) and others to compete with for first team action, so he spent the first half of the 2006/7 season with Newcastle United. He made just 11 league appearances for them so moved onto his previous team Parma for the second half of the season. He impressed with nine goals in 19 Serie A games.

That was enough to earn the attention from Villarreal in Spain, and he joined for 10 million euros from Manchester United. He spent 2013 until 2017 there before moving back to Italy again, this time with Fiorentina. He struggled with fitness due to a succession of knee ligament injuries, and he failed to make an impact in Italy, which saw him make two loan moves back to Spain, with Celta Vigo and Levante.

An unsuccessful stint with Genoa saw him spend some time training with former club Manchester United midway through last season and while United could have done with some back-up in the squad up front, a short term deal was not offered.

In 2020 Rossi moved to MLS side Real Salt Lake.

Rossi was born in New Jersey, and therefore qualifies for this series.