Having scored on his debut in three major European leagues, ACF Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi has already had many special moments during his career. The 2-1 victory against Calcio Catania on Monday night, however, was "among the most beautiful" as the Italian international struck for the first time in almost two years.
Rossi netted the last of his 54 Liga goals for Villarreal FC on 6 October 2011 before suffering two serious knee injuries in quick succession. Signed by Fiorentina last January while still recovering from the second, the former Manchester United FC and Parma FC striker played only once last term. However, he did not waste time in opening his Fiorentina account as he broke the deadlock with a precise left-footed shot after 14 minutes against Catania at the Artemio Franchi Stadium.
"I'm happy about the goal and the victory," said the 26-year-old. "It was a difficult game against a very good side. My family were in the stands, it was a great evening, among the most beautiful in my football career."
Catania equalised through Pablo Barrientos at the midway point of the first half but David Pizarro notched the winner for Vincenzo Montella's side six minutes later with a wonderful effort. Fiorentina new boy Mario Gomez could have added another before the interval yet hit the woodwork after a pass by Rossi with the goal gaping. "I just told him he will have to score next time," Rossi said. "Mario is a typical No9, he fights hard, he is very good on the air. I'm sure he can do very well here."
"I think Mario had too many eyes on him, too many expectations, it happens," added Montella of Gomez's miss. "I think he is the ideal striker for this team, he gives us physical strength, technique and determination. Meanwhile we are very happy about Pepito's goal."
The Viola fans are dreaming of improving on last season's fourth place with the new attacking pair. "You can really feel the love surrounding the team," said Rossi. "I'm not 100% fit yet, I'm trying to improve week after week. The club have been great with me, allowing me to recover at home. I think it helped a lot. Everybody was very nice to me from the very first day here, I'm very grateful.
On Thursday Fiorentina face Grasshopper Club Zürich in the return leg of their UEFA Europa League play-off after winning 2-1 in Switzerland last week. "Starting from tomorrow we have to prepare ourselves to play another great game against Grasshoppers," Rossi said. "We want to win, we want the group stage."
© 1998-2013 UEFA. All rights reserved.