Yesterday Giuseppe Rossi strutted his stuff for Italy in their 2-1 win over Spain in Bari. Although the Bambino didn't score, he played very well and the italian papers are full of praise for his efforts. "Rossi made Pique dance more than Shakira" is one headline.
Of course, every time Rossi visits Italy the papers also speculate on his departure from Villarreal to return to Italy, and this time Dino De Laurentiis stole a march on everyone with his comments earlier this week. Asked about them yesterday before the Elche match, President Roig was clear: Rossi is not for sale. Not to Naples, not to Tottenham. Harry Redknapp has been "thinking about" Rossi again, as well as Fernando Llorente. He'll have more time to think now, since Tottenham's match against Everton has been postponed due to the riots in the area this week.
The team has returned from Elche and have a day off today before resuming training. The Elche website has a short writeup on the match and a number of photos here, well worth a look.
Word is Nilmar's injury doesn't appear serious and he is expected to pay against the Danes next week--Marchena and Senna have some muscle soreness but are expected to be OK as well. The big problem is Ángel, whose recovery from his knee injury is taking longer than expected. He won't play for sure.
Nothing else new on the transfer front involving Villarreal that I've seen--whether it's stealth, waiting to receive the Santi Cazorla money, or what, I don't know, but the wires have gone quiet. Sporting Gijon did give Canella a new contract, I understand, and our former LB Jose Enrique is said to be moving from Newcastle to Liverpool this morning for a fee of around €7m. It seemed pretty clear he wanted to stay in the EPL.
If you watched the USA-Mexico friendly last night, you did see Gio Dos Santos play the last half-hour and frankly do very little. ESPN had one of their ESPN Deportes announcers commenting (in English) for part of the match, and he made some interesting points about Gio--he basically plays at one speed, goes down the middle almost exclusively. Something to think about as we ponder his signing.
We are being linked with one of the members of Ecuador's U-20 squad, Dennis Quiñónez, who currently plays for a team called Barcelona in Ecuador. We did recently sign another Ecuadorian player, Fernando "Chiqui" Guerrero, who has joined the B team, so we appear to be becoming something of a destination, don't we?
Finally, with the day off, the club is officially opening its new office building at the Sports City complex. Sr. Roig will speak and there will be some first-team members along as well. With all the focus on the first team and matters on the field we sometimes forget how important the club is to the economy of Vila-real through all its youth programs, academy setup and so on. Endavant Villarreal!!