Roberto Baggio is an Italian footballer legend having been named to the FIFA World Cup Dream Team and being selected to the 1994 World Cup All-Star team. However, the Italian star has suffered disappointment as well during his career and one of the most painful was his being left off the 2002 World Cup team by the national team Giovanni Trapattani because of concerns over a knee injury he suffered.
In 2014 the name of Roberto Baggio is back in the news concerning the Italian World Cup football team selections as forward Giuseppe Rossi was left off the final 23 man roster as the Azzuri coach Cesare Prandelli expressed concerns about a possible fear of contact and his physical fitness.
Footballer commentators and insiders think back to Roberto Baggio and how difficult a decision it was leave the spectacular footballer off the Italian national team. During the selection process the Italian star made a direct appeal to the coach with a hand-written letter but he was unable to convince the coach Giovanni Trappatoni, to select him. The decision to not have him on the team became a topic of major public debate and many believe his absence was in part responsible for the disappointing performance of the Italian team at the 2002 World Cup as they were eliminated by South Korea in the round of 16.
While the accomplishments of Giuseppe Rossi are not the equal to those of Roberto Baggio, the similarities of their situations exist as the two talented forwards both were left off the Italian football national teams due to concerns about injury and if not for the injuries they would very likely been part of those teams.
It is no overstatement to think that the footballer loving Italian fans are praying that Giuseppe Rossi's exclusion from the 2014 World Cup Team does not have the same impact that Roberto Baggio's absence had on the 2002 team.