May 14th, 2010

Giuseppe Rossi: Are You Buying What He’s Selling?

Image Credit: Olugbenro Ogunsemore for ESPN The Magazine

Finally, the rest of the world is recognizing what we’ve known all along: the finest DNA is saved for footballers. And that featuring attractive footy stars on magazine covers is a successful publicity formula.

Today’s gene pool case-in-point? Villareal striker and Italian NT member, Giuseppe Rossi, who’s fronting ESPN The Magazine‘s May 17 issue. After a quick survey of our inner sanctuary, we report mixed findings about his abundance of back-of-the-hand hair. Once upon a time, a few of you even claimed that knuckle forests were your dealbreakers.

Of course, if we spotted ‘Beppe cruising around a piazza, we’d let him buy us a panini. But what about our nearest and dearest gal pals? If you suddenly found yourself jaywalking alongside Rossi’s gorgeous greens, would you:

A) Call him a traitor, toss him a bottle of Selsun Blue and tell him to go to town while he waits for his Italian NT World Cup call-up?

B) Happily engage in a discussion on where to source the best Orzata in town?

C) Act naturally as you sell him your body at a cut price, while simultaneously offering your shameless WAGabee soul as that day’s one-time-only free gift with purchase?

There are no wrong answers, only different consequences.

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68 Responses to “Giuseppe Rossi: Are You Buying What He’s Selling?”

  1. [...] America‚Äôs Best Chance at Winning the World Cup is playing for Italy (Kickette) ESPN should be supporting the USMNT not poking fun right? Fabregas and Villa to Barcelona (Mirror Football) Scandal Ridden China Super League Shanghai Shenhua Owner to buy Liverpool. (Forbes) And, Maradona to be the Coach. Would become the first Club owner to have played (5 minutes) against his team. Insecure Mourinho (The Game) But, Mourinho is happy Chelsea won the Premiership… Top 15 Players not going to the World Cup (Who Ate all the Pies) USA defender Oguchi Onyewu to play for free at AC Milan in a gesture to prove himself and make up for his injury plagued season. (BBC) Ancelotti Finds new Karaoke Job with Video (Off the Post) var addthis_pub = ''; var addthis_brand = 'WSN';var addthis_language = 'en';var addthis_options = 'email, favorites, digg, delicious, myspace, google, facebook, reddit, live, more'; May 18th, 2010 [...]

  2. Kahlen says:

    I’m American and I’m good with his decision. We all come from other countries all over the world. People can just get over it. Just cause he grew up in Jersey does NOT mean we own him.

  3. keziah says:

    Firstly I think most true fans of football in the USA would follow the USMNT. It’s people who don’t truly love the game that will follow any old team with a chance of winning. That being said the USA, like Australia, is a nation with many immigrants and so many people will have a second team because of family heritage and ties. Which I guess is where the whole Rossi saga started. He’s not a traitor. Let him play his game & focus on the good.
    Secondly I dont think web & facebook pages stating they HATE this guy and thousands of t-shirts being sold with his face and TRAITOR stamped across them is friendly banter. I think that is going a bit overboard.
    Finally I think that seeing as many many posters here seem to be riled up or aggitated by this whole post we should all leave the ESPN mag behind and return to the Vouge mag spread of the gorgeous and patriotic footballers in their patriotic best! :-)

    And just to add in an aussie – our beloved Harry!
    ahhhh my happy place.

    • kaya says:

      FWIW, I joined a “Rossi is a traitor” FB group when it formed immediately after the US/IT Confed cup game. I did it because I thought it was funny. The group posted stuff for a week and that was it. I think there may have been 1 or 2 people on there who took it seriously, but I think everyone else felt the same about it that I did. Rossi appears to be good friends with most of the guys on the US MNT despite the goal celebration… I think guys have a higher threshold for competition/trash talking and dropping it off the field than gals do.
      Again, I didn’t read the article, but I think the whole point of it was to wake up people to the fact part of the reason Rossi didn’t ever consider playing for the US is because they’re only learning about him thanks to knee jerk marketing tactics.

  4. Ana;) says:

    I understand all your points bit we have to remember at the end of the day it's his decision since he's the one that will have to play on the pitch. Having dual nationality gives him the option to go on playing for who he likes America or Italy. Why don't we just wish him the best with whatever he chooses?

  5. livv4footy says:

    Kickette, where'd the Kiko Macheda spread go? (the Man-child or man with child stuff) i can't seem to find a link to it anywhere…..what happened?

  6. kaya says:

    Not sure why the link to a May 2nd article, but Rossi isn't waiting for a callup… he's called up as of Tuesday.

    I understand why he went to play for Italy, but that doesn't make me any less pissed off. As a matter of fact, I'm sick and tired of americans asking me why I'm cheering for the US. I don't say anything because I haven't figured out how to nicely ask wtf is wrong with them.

    Anyway, seems like the majority here (as in the US) who "follow 'soccer'" seem to think putting on a cool looking track top of any country that's already won the WC makes them hip or something.

    Sure, it's a cheap marketing gimmick, but at least ESPN is trying to make people care. Maybe by the time I'm old and washed up it'll be cool to cheer for your own country and maybe play for it, too.

    • kaya says:

      FWIW… “pissed off” doesn’t mean I think he’s a traitor. Honestly, I think most of the “traitor” talk is simply friendly/snarky banter. I just went back and read through some of the comments and am suprised to see a lot of people taking this seriously.
      Maybe also consider this is a “guy” magazine and their target audience likes to get riled up about crap like this over the weekend…. and then forget about it in their cube on Monday.

  7. Lucy says:

    he soooo damn fine!! and you clueless yanks are only jealeous because he plays for Italy haha :P

  8. kleon says:

    I don’t get the cover.. why he’s America’s (well should be USA’s oh dear… that geography lessons) hope? He’s going to play with Italy and that isn’t going to help team USA in WC…

    BTW It’s his option, and I think he made the correct decision, he could be born in USA and being raised there, but if his family is Italian and he feels Italian at heart and wants to play with Italy it’s great

  9. LuvinBale says:

    Like someone had posted earlier this is just ESPN marketing ploy to get Americans riled up about how we “lost out” on our only hope. Im an American and Im not upset at him or any comments made or the goals he scored against us.
    We have Landon Donovan- such a gracious player and respectful guy. Gotta love him. We have Clint Dempsey- not such a classy guy but a good player none the less. And Oguchi Onyewu- what a beautiful man and player. I think we have a really good chance this year with our team, so Im not hating on anyone who gets called up for their country.

    My opinion is this- he had a once in a lifetime opportunity to play for and Italian FC- who in the world wouldnt jump at that chance? I know I would.(just so I could be in the locker room- LOL)
    I dont think he is a traitor-he’s doing what he loves and how many of us can say that?
    Good for him.
    And yes he is a little hottie to boot!!!! Hairy Knuckes and all.

  10. MrsNesta says:

    Ah Giuseppe, I would pick C, because you’re a cutie patootie (I love saying that) and because its Friday and I’ve got nothing interesting to do :) You followed your heart (when it comes to footie) and who can blame you for wanting to play with Canna and Marco Borriello, I want to play with them lol. But I think the ESPN cover is a little premature as there is no guarantee you’ll make the final 23!!! As for the USMNT (who I’ve been checking out and appreciating lol) and its well informed/knowledgable and passionate followers :) you’ll do fine without him and looking forward to June 12 :)

  11. rami says:

    if he's selling his body.. then HELL YES!! :D

  12. keziah says:

    Get over it USA! Players do this all the time. Christian Vieri was raised in Australia from the age of 2 but played fro Italy even tho his younger brother played for Australia. Obviously Rossi got better training as a young footballer in Italy and feels more Italian as a player. He has lived half his life in Italy, has obvious Italian heritage. Come on. Just cos you saw him once he was developing well and thought “crap we need someone like that” doesn’t mean you get to gripe about the fact that your youth development let him down so he went elsewhere. Plus lets face it his opportunities to win trophies are far better as an Azzuri. And you cant tell me the USA has never taken a player born somewhere else and developed them to great players for your NT. No sympathies.

    • TammyV says:

      Rossi, as he likes to point out, is an American, in the way he thinks, speaks, entertainment wise, and raised. He is American, pure and simple. We do have players who were born in other places on our squad, but they are Americans too. Rossi will tell you he is only Italian on the pitch by his own admission.

      The reality is his ultimate punishment is that he will never be special. He will never do anything in an Italian shirt that makes him special. Everything has either been done or expected to be done. That was crystal clear when the US beat Spain, Rossi will never know what it is like to beat the odd. The pure joy of being David because he is team Goliath

    • keziah says:

      Benny Feilhaber – born Brazil moved to US aged 6
      Stuart Holden – born Scotland moved to US aged 10
      Jeff Cunningham – born Jamaica moved to US aged 14

      Three players who recently played for the USNT but were born and partially raised elsewhere. Bet you wouldn’t tell them they should go back and play for the country of their birth. Rossi moved to Italy aged 12, he was only a first gen US anyways so he’s pretty much Italian. LET HIM BE.

      • keziah says:

        He does know what it is like to beat the odds. He made the Italian NT… now THAT is beating the odds.

    • Deffo-Nando says:

      Thank you. I don’t get all the controversy either. This is a common thing that happens with many NT’s.

  13. Rossi's_a_Traitor says:

    Option “A.” Traitor. I don’t see why he gets to take full advantage of the American media, either. And that headline is shite.

  14. Alex says:

    Wait- after watching that video… he’s quite a cutie! And trilingual! Damn… ;)

    • Yasmin says:

      He speaks with a true American accent! And “Clifford the Big Red Dog” LOL aww!

  15. TristaJade says:

    He’s cute, I’ll give him that…but I can’t help it. My loyalty to the USMNT would cause me to call him out on his loyalties. But in a very nice way so that we still might a friendly chat. ;)

  16. Alex says:

    I’d definitely choose A! But, part of me thinks that if he identifies as an Italian, then god bless…

    I agree that ESPN’s headline, with a US flag on the football, is fairly misleading.

  17. shay says:

    I am very confused by the headline. He could have been our best hope, but obviously not now. Still a cutie though.

  18. Yasmin says:

    B or C :)

    America should let go of him. He's obviously made his decision, and is good enough to get called up, so kudos to him :)

  19. Ella says:

    Ok, so ESPN's cover has succeeded in riling up a lot of people. (It ruffled my feathers too!) We should all email them or something and let them know we true football fans are offended by their cover. It won't change anything, but they should know we are more informed than many of their readers and found their strategy ridiculous. Just a thought….OR we can stab the editors with our stillettos! LOL!

    • tammyv says:

      but it stopped me from buying the issue

    • senora ramos says:

      i agree, with both :)
      no seriously, i think we should write, email, call, etc. i’ll not be buying the mag again which is a shame b/c they had a great world cup issue before this. i know that was their idea (to get people riled up) but did they honestly think soccer fans would buy something with him on the front as the american soccer hope when we know he plays for italy? they’ll have some people out there who don’t know that and because of their misrepresentation may be pretty pissed off when they read he doesn’t play for us. there are a lot of patriotic people out there who are going to pull for the us even though they don’t like soccer.

    • kaya says:

      srsly? offended? I haven’t read bought the issue or read the article, but I assume it’s a little friendly trash talking. i don’t see anything wrong with waking up NASCAR and MLB fans to the fact that talented americans who play real sports simply go elsewhere because of americans like them =)

  20. cr9 lover says:

    No one cares about Italy anyway. The Brazilians are gonna win the whole thing

    • Ali says:

      I'm hoping for a Brazil v Spain final because either way it's a win for football. Although I want Spain to win so badly and get their first WC.

      • senora ramos says:

        unfortunately they'll be playing in the round of 8, i believe (not 1st knock out unless somehow brasil doesn't win their group, but the next). of course the whole bracketing thing is confusing to me so who actually knows. if spain pass that and don't win it all, it will be a severe disappointment!!

        • Ali says:

          Not in my bracket they won’t, and I have them both coming out on top of their groups.
          Brazil > Switzerland > Netherlands > France > Spain (Final)
          Spain > Ivory Coast > Italy > Germany > Brazil (Final)

          If Spain takes first and Brazil takes second (or vice versa) THEN they will play each other in the second round (which is the round of 16).

  21. cr9 lover says:

    First of all i do believe he is Italian because he's got all that hair, secondly he's just using the fact that he is also American to get on covers. I think he wants a better chance to win the world cup so he chose Italy, i would to, but i don't think he'd enjoy riding in a bus around Italy if he won the word cup, i think he'd be in the first team if he played for America. I mean how can you compete with the likes of De Rossi and Pirlo.

  22. Rossi's_a_Trait says:

    I understand his decision. I'd rather, however, it not get covered in an article with a misleading title in an AMERICAN magazine.

    • senora ramos says:

      that makes me angriest of all. the american hope for a world cup?! i mean, damn, show some pride in the country. i think that is what pissed most people off about this whole situ

      • Ella says:

        ESPN is just trying to drum up more ratings since they're carrying the WC here in the states. It makes a good story that may interest some people into watching who otherwise may not watch it here. It's a marketing ploy. I think it's offensive, but I can see that they're trying to get people riled up.

        • senora ramos says:

          i know, and for those who don't watch soccer, maybe they'd be more into it with a story like that. but it's kind of like a slap in the face to people who support the sport and were going to watch it regardless. that's just my opinion though :S

      • Ali says:

        That was my issue too.

        He made his dream come true to play for the Italian NT. Go him. Whooo.

        But to call him AMERICA's best hope is utterly ridiculous. He was born in the US, yes. But he has made it very clear that while he is proud of that, Italy is is heritage and his love.

        • tammyv says:

          No.. His love is America… his football is Italy. Everything but for his football is American.

  23. Ella says:

    I don't care that he left. He had his reasons…it DOES suck that he would celebrate after scoring against his home country. That's just a lack of maturity and/or class. I will add that the US has a population of over 300 million people and just b/c not every single one of those people LOVES football it doesn't make the MANY fans here that do love it less informed or somehow beneath those fans that come from football-crazed nations. Just sayin'….I think that's what Senora Ramos was saying by "elitist" attitudes that put down the US just b/c our whole country doesn't live/breathe football. It's ok, I like being one of the people 'in the know', who 'gets it'. ;-)

  24. shay says:

    He is defintley a loss to the USMNT but it's not like we would win the whole thing if only we had him. He's not one of the world's greatest or anything. And as so many others have pointed out, we have certainly benefited from many players that came to the US as children and chose to play for our national team instead of the place where they were born. No hard feelings as far as I am concerned. Italy are not gonna win the World Cup this time anyway.

  25. Erin says:

    I find it so completely ridiculous that americans would call him a traitor. It's laughable. Yes, he was born in the US, but his parents were Italian immigrants and he has dual citizenship. He moved back to play football in Italy when he was still a child. He played for Italian national youth teams all the way through his development.

    Given the way this country looks at "soccer", was there really any comparison? Play for football-mad Italy, where he lived and trained, or play for the USA where few people even give a sh*t? Is that really a tough decision? Why would anyone hold this against him???

    • senora ramos says:

      really, that's why he's "american in every other sense of his life but italian on the pitch." not a direct quote but pretty damn close. and the confed cup where he scores 2 goals and acts an ass but wishes AFTER the fact that it would've been against anyone else. and who gives a f if the us supports soccer or not. you elitest snobs need to understand that just because our country as a whole don't support the sport doesn't mean that we aren't just as passionate as everyone else.

      we have the right to be upset, you don't like it, don't read it

      • Erin says:

        I am american. And you need to relax. I expressed an opinion that may differ from yours, but it’s no less valid.

        • senora ramos says:

          i wasn't invalidating your opinion. but who cares if america as a whole doesn't support soccer. why is that even a reason it's ok for him to go else where. it's bad enough we have to put up with people in our country who dog soccer and people in other countries who think that our fans are beneath them b/c our whole country doesn't love the sport. we don't need us soccer fans to also dog their own

          • Erin says:

            “You elitist snobs…” “…don’t like it, don’t read it”. Did that really need to be said? Doesn’t add much to the discussion.

            I support the USMNT. I’m not “dogging” it. But obviously things like this would play into a footballer’s decision about where he would prefer to play, when given the choice. Makes sense. Whether you agree with what he decided or not. I don’t support the Italian team, I do support the USA team, and I yet I still understand his decision.

    • keziah says:

      Totally agree. Sure be pissed that a native born who scored against you didn't have the class to not celebrate but you cant hold against him the decision to play for the Azzuri in the first place. Hate on your youth system that let him slip away.

      • senora ramos says:

        and i also was disgruntled before he scored the goals, but accepted that it was his decision and it was in a way the american dream. it was after the goals that is when i started to detest him

      • keziah says:

        PS As an Italian-Australian in a sporting mad country where football has been under-appreciated, under-funded & had to compete with pretty much EVERY other sport possible I know what it is like to watch player after player disappear overseas never to be seen again. BUT be happy for the person that they are able to follow their dream and become the best player they can be, it is better for the game as a whole to have incredible players playing at their best. Australia had players who could have helped us get back to the World Cup for a whole generation go overseas, so what, all the more sweet when we qualified for '06 and incredible now we are there again. Our boys are hero's now. Stop hating on Rossi & use the energy to love on the incredible players you have like Altadore, Donovan and Dempsey. Make them hero's and maybe just maybe the next Rossi wont defect cos his heros wont be Azzuri they will be USNT players.

        • senora ramos says:

          i do support the guys on our team. i’m proud of them. i am heartbroken cd9 won’t be there.
          it really ticks me off that espn played into this. i don’t blame rossi for the cover (exactly). i just never had a problem with him until the confed cup. did the people who left your country act so classless when they came back and scored on you? you have people who leave their original CLUBS and won’t do that when they score against them with a new club. doing it to the COUNTRY that you were born and raised and given advantages from is the epitomy of low class to me. that is why i could never “get over it” and why i think he’s a benedict arnold. sorry to come out attacking people, i’m usually not like this. (i’m really not, unless thea gets me riled up with a barca v real thread).

          • keziah says:

            Thats ok. Yeah we had a couple of guys who said hurtful things about Australian football (or soccer as the masses still call it here). But so what, in the end we are in the world cup and we have forgotten about most of them. Our NT boys now tho, as recent posts on kickette show, timmy, harry, matthew… love em.

            This is what I learned. If you feel as if he betrayed you, if he acted without class or tact its the same as with an ex. What better way of getting back at an ex is there than showing up with another guy, looking happier/better than ever, and saying "oh you, yeah that's right we dated for a bit hey, totally forgot about you." And not only great revenge but fantastically good fun while your at it. It is not worth the stress & anger in your life being pissed at Rossi. Absolutely be passionate but make sure that passion is positive so it doesnt make you bitter.

            PS Im a massive Barca fan too. hahaha

            • senora ramos says:

              lol! well, it helps me that i'm pretty positive that italy will not be winning it all again this year. and hopefully my 2nd team, spain will.

              btw, hala madrid! :D

  26. TammyV says:


    The difference between Charlie Davies and Rossi to Americans. "What Davies inclusion brings to the fans is the American dream, the triumph of the American spirit. Just by playing, he reminds us and the world that in America, anything you set your mind to and work hard enough, you can achieve. He is the American version of Rossi, who proved that by playing for Italy against all odds… Irony being he was at his most American wearing an Azzurri jersey."

  27. senora ramos says:

    A) benedict arnold sob.

    now i realise that he didn't design the cover but i have never been so livid in my entire life. f him and f espn mag. stay out of our country you pos

  28. juventina says:

    C!! LOL LOL LOL LOL!! OMG I love him! I'm not American, so he can play for Italia all he wants ;)