The Italian player remembers how he grew up loving football and the way he made it part of his day to day life.
Giuseppe Rossi started playing professionally in 2004 with Manchester United. He then moved onto play with Newcastle United, Parma, Villarreal, Fiorentina, Levante, and Celta.
He retired in the 2017-2018 season after just nine games with Genoa in the Italian Lega Serie A.
But former Italy forward has explained how football came into his life.
“I remember after a game when I was 16 [and playing for Parma’s youth team] a person approached me with a pin in his hands and he gave it to me and he says: ‘Look down. This is the team that I work for and we are very interested in you,'” he told ESPN.
“I looked down and it was the Manchester United pin and inside of me I was like: ‘Oh my gosh this is something crazy.’ So I went home. I talked to my father and it all started from there.”
“I am here today loving the game as much as I did as when I was a kid,” he says.
“The passion I have for the game came from my father.”
“One hundred percent. He was born in Italy. He was a huge Milan fan and I grew up being a Milan fan also,” he explained.
“We used to wake up at 9 o’clock in the morning every Sunday, catch the games, go out in the backyard every day, kick the ball around.”
“He used to come back from work for lunch, put a couple of cones around and I would always be dribbling in between them, I was two years old, so it was in my blood since I was that young,” Rossi continued.
“I love this game too much. I have sacrificed too much for this game. Not just me, my whole family, and I don’t want to let anybody down. I don’t want to let them down.”
“I don’t want to let myself down. This is what I love to do. This is what I love to do,” he explained.
“You get knocked down, once, twice, three, four times, whatever it was during my career but I’ve always had that mentality to come back, to continue competing at a high level and that’s what I’m here to do today.”
— Sky Sport (@SkySport) February 1, 2019