Fiorentina rewarded for gambling on Rossi comeback
Rome: Giuseppe Rossi`s extraordinary comeback from successive cruciate ligament injuries continued on Sunday as his 14-minute hat-trick ended titleholders Juventus` unbeaten start to the season.
The U.S-born Italy forward helped Fiorentina complete one of the most remarkable fightbacks in recent Serie A history as they came from two goals behind to beat Juventus 4-2.
Fiorentina have already been handsomely rewarded after they took a 12 million euros gamble in January by signing Rossi from Villarreal before he had completed his recovery from the injury nightmare that effectively cost him two years of his career.
"There`s no doubts about his quality, although we didn`t expect he would regain his form so quickly," Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Montella told reporters after Rossi helped his side overturn a 2-0 halftime deficit.
"Your mentality counts for a lot. He is a player who adopts to the team and plays for the others."
Rossi`s hat-trick completed a dream week for the player, coming five days after he made his Italy return in the World Cup qualifier against Armenia.
The 26-year-old, who has also had to deal with hostility from United States fans following his decision to choose Italy, took his tally to eight goals in as many league games this season, placing him top of Serie A`s scoring charts.
Rossi`s troubles began when he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury to his right knee while playing for Villarreal in a Spanish league match against Real Madrid in October 2011.
He fought desperately to be fit again in time for Euro 2012 only to re-injure the knee in training the following April.
Villarreal sold him to Fiorentina at the start of this year and he finally made his comeback against Pescara in May, playing 27 minutes in the final match of last season.
Rossi has Italian parents but was born and bred in the United States, and his decision to choose Italy provoked some vitriol in the U.S. especially when he played against them in the Confederations Cup in 2009.
"It was an incredible second half, we showed great determination and courage to turn the result around," Rossi told Sky Sports Italia. "We`re a team which has been built to play well and win."
Montella suggested it was the best win of his coaching career.
"This could be the most beautiful win," he said. "In the first half, we didn`t look like scoring but, fortunately, football is a marvellous sport and everything can change in a breath.
"It`s difficult to score four goals against Juventus and to do it in 15 minutes was extraordinary."