Giuseppe Rossi says he is elated with his call-up to the Italy national team after a lengthy two-year absence.
The 26-year-old New Jersey native, who is in the Azzurri squad to face Denmark and Armenia, last featured for Cesare Prandelli in October 2011, playing in a 1-1 draw in a European championship 2012 qualifier against Serbia.
Rossi has been capped 27 times by Italy, but this time feels extra special for the striker, who is thrilled his performances this season have not gone unnoticed.
“I am happy and proud to wear the Azzurri shirt and return to the team,” Rossi told Viola Channel. “I thank coach Prandelli for the call, and I will do everything to repay his confidence on the field.”
Rossi has scored six goals in nine games in all competitions for Fiorentina this season, after missing more than a year and a half of action following surgery on a ruptured cruciate ligament.
Italy has already qualified from Group B, and Prandelli may use this opportunity to test out some of his fringe players with next year's World Cup on the horizon. Prandelli admits Rossi’s comeback has caught his attention and his inclusion is a sign of hard work paying off.
“We do not want to risk anything, but he is a guy who has experienced two difficult years and is now returning to important levels," Prandelli told reporters. “I called to make him feel part of this group and to evaluate his physical condition before using him.”