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Giuseppe Rossi: Italian soccer is stuck in the past

  • AP, Monday, March 7, 2011 3:31 PM

New Jersey product Giuseppe Rossi, who plays for the Italian national and Spanish club Villarreal, says Italian soccer is stuck in the past, and that's why Spanish and English clubs have been dominating European competition in recent years.

Since leaving New Jersey at age 13 for Parma's youth program, Rossi has played in English Premier League, Italian Serie A and the Spanish La Liga.

"Time changes, and you have to change with time. You can't stay with the same idea you had back then. (Italian soccer) hasn't made this evolution yet," said Rossi, who has four goals in 17 appearances for Italy's national team. "You're always going to watch an English game or a Spanish game before Serie A, and this is because they were both able to evolve."

Rossi prefers Spain's technical game over traditional Italian tactics, but said Italy coach Cesare Prandelli recognizes that possession - the key to Spain's World Cup title run last year - is worth adopting: "Prandelli sees that teams that win now are teams that keep the ball and possession. He's really trying to change it. So far it's going well."

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