February 1st the inevitable is going to happen with the US national team. Giuseppe Rossi is going to declare his allegiance to the Azzurri. Maybe I am going to hear it from people saying that I would like to see the US fail and the other generic arguments that put me under the category of a “soccer snob”. But I could truly care less.
In Italy, that bit of news is taken with some excitement, but no overwhelming fervor. He will be a legitimate option for Roberto Donadoni come Euro 2008. If you start to talk to people here, those that call themselves “real Americans”, they look at it as some type of treasonous act. He’s American, and he should play with the Stars and Stripes. He was born here and he should have been loyal to his roots.
If any of us had a chance to go to school at Harvard or a local community college in equal conditions (with all due respect to the Americans), where would you go? Where would you go? The answer would be simple in my eyes. What would you prefer playing in- Euro 2008 or Gold Cup 2009? Yeah that Gold Cup sure as hell makes the Brazils, Argentinas, and Germanys of the world quake in their boots after beating Guadeloupe in the semis of a tournament like that.
Well maybe if you ask Landon Donovan, he will probably pick the local community college, but obviously I am stretching that argument a bit to include the US’ pseudo Golden Boy into the mix.
But let’s get back on subject. Part of the reason that Rossi wants to play is because he can. If his performance so far this year in La Liga is any indication, he deserves to stay there. His talent alone is the reason for him turning so many heads. At the rate he is going and with his physical attributes one could say that he could replace an Alessandro Del Piero on the Italian national team. I am not a fan of making those types of comparisons, but he has the tools to make that impact in the years to come.
He also feels Italian. He grew with the culture and its idiosyncrasies. He cheered, laughed, and cried during the highest highs and the lowest lows. He is not like a Mauro Camoranesi who came into the national team not even knowing the Italian national anthem, although he is getting better at it having been there for so long now. Rossi feels Italian. He is one of those kids taht grew up here in the States dreaming that some day he would score the game-winning goal for the Azzurri in the World Cup final. His self-confidence is something to tip yout hat to. What it comes down to is simply that he wants to succeed. So if he has that type of moxie to want to be in the spotlight on a WORLD stage, then God bless and leave him alone.