Giuseppe Rossi in Spain

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They called him America.

But coming from the boys at the settore giovanile, Parma FC’s youth academy in Parma, Italy, it sounded like "Ah-MAY-dee-cah." Giuseppe Rossi was just 12 years old and painfully shy, and even though he had an authentic Italian name and grew up speaking the language with his parents and grandparents in Clifton, N.J., as far as his young teammates were concerned he might as well have been named Billy Bob.

"Passare la palla, Ah-MAY-dee-cah," they would shout. "Pass the ball, America."

 

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