Highlights from Villarreal 4-0 Espanyol:
Highlights from Ponferradina 1-5 Villarreal B:
Lots of speculation about Giuseppe Rossi. Transfer talk galore, of course, but also plenty on the high expectations placed on him by the club.
A quote from teammate Ángel López:
Translation: "I'm sure this will be Rossi's year. He had a great preseason and really wants to succeed."
And from manager Juan Carlos Garrido:
Translation: "I watch him train, so I know this will be Rossi's year. Thus it's not surprising that many clubs in the world would want him."
There are a number of reasons why the club would talk up one of its star performers, ranging from least to most cynical:
- Trying to help Rossi hit 20 goals;
- Enticing him to stay at a club where he is beloved;
- Encouraging Nilmar to consider other opportunities;
- Boosting Rossi's transfer value in the event of a return to Italy.
Why he should stay: In just 3 seasons, the Italian-American has done a lot for the club. He was an integral part of the La Liga subcampeonato in 2007-08 and subsequent Champions League run. Those are arguably 2 of the club's 3 biggest achievements, in addition to the 2005-06 Champions League semifinal run.
Why he should go: A smaller club in a Spanish industrial town may not be enough. Remember that Rossi was viewed as the future of American soccer (until he decided to play for the Azzurri), and he grew up just outside of bustling New York City. Compound that with the World Cup snub in favor of middling Serie A talent, and his career trajectory may depend on a move to Italy.
What should the club do? What should Rossi do?