Six things Hibs fans should know about Fausto Rossi

Fausto Rossi, left, playing for the Italian under-20s side. Picture: Getty

Fausto Rossi, left, playing for the Italian under-20s side. Picture: Getty

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Hibernian have been linked with Italian free agent Fausto Rossi. The 25-year-old spent four years at Juventus but was farmed out on loan to Cordoba and Real Valladolid in Spain, and has spent time at Brescia, Vicenza and Pro Vercelli.

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He also spent time at Vicenza on a co-ownership deal in order to gain first-team experience, before Juventus re-purchased Rossi in January 2012.

He’s made more than 20 appearances for Italy Under-21s

Turin-born Rossi made 24 appearances for Italy under-21s between 2011 and 2013, helping the side to the runner-up spot in the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in June 2013. He started in midfield alongside Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Veratti, while Napoli winger Lorenzo Insigne, Lazio striker Ciro Immobile and Sunderland forward Fabio Borini were also in the team that eventually lost 4-2 to Spain in the final. His only international goal for Italy under-21s came in a 7-2 victory against Liechtenstein in October 2011.

He once scored the winner against Barcelona

Rossi playing against Real Madrid. Picture: Getty

Rossi playing against Real Madrid. Picture: Getty

In March 2014, Rossi - on loan at Real Valladolid in La Liga - scored the only goal as the Blanquivioletas stunned Barcelona at the Estadio Nuevo Jose Zorrilla. Rossi swept the ball past Victor Valdes after he and team mate Javi Guerra had seen shots blocked. Valladolid held on for a famous victory, although they would be relegated at the end of the season. The Barcelona team that day contained Lionel Messi, Neymar, Xavi, Pedro Rodriguez and Alexis Sanchez.

He’s on the radar of MLS clubs

Despite talk linking Rossi with a move to Scotland, he’s been attracting interest Stateside, with Sporting Kansas City, New York Red Bulls and Orlando City all reportedly keen on the player. It is thought that Rossi’s wage demands may price some MLS clubs out of a move, but Rossi did spend time in Kansas earlier this year on trial.

He spent 15 years at Juventus... but didn’t get much first-team action

Rossi joined the Juventus youth set-up in 1999 at the age of eight, eventually reaching the under-20 (Primavera) squad in 2008. Manager of the senior squad at the time, Claudio Ranieri, began calling Rossi up to the first team, as he helped the Primavera side to two consecutive league titles in 2009 and 2010.

He can play anywhere in midfield

Rossi is capable of performing in a number of midfield positions, and scored the goal against Barcelona while playing as a left winger. Fans who watched him play for Juventus under-20s describe him as a midfielder in the mould of Claudio Marchisio; that is, a central midfielder with the quality to perform in defensive midfield or attacking midfield.

He’s a former team mate of Hibs striker Dominique Malonga

Rossi was loaned to Italian Serie B outfit Pro Vercelli for the 2015/16 season, making 20 appearances in total. Former Hibs striker Malonga joined the side in January 2016, with the pair making a handful of appearances together, including both starting in a 5-2 win over Pescara in March. Expect to see headlines suggesting ‘Big Dom sold me on Hibs move’ should he sign for the Easter Road side.

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