The defender insists he was not out to injure the attacker after his challenge left the Fiorentina star facing a potentially serious knee injury.Livorno defender Leandro Rinaudo insists he did not deliberately try to injure Giuseppe Rossi and says he attempted to apologize to the Fiorentina forward after the match.
Rossi had to be replaced in the second half after Rinaudo caught the Italy international's knee with a robust challenge - the same knee which has twice required surgery to repair damaged ligaments.
Fiorentina president Andrea Della Valle labelled Rinaudo a "scoundrel" after the match while Vincenzo Montella slammed the 30-year-old for not apologizing for his actions, but Rinaudo has stressed he was stopped from doing so outside the dressing rooms.
"It was a normal foul in the game. On the pitch, I didn't apologize because I was protesting with the referee," he told Sky Sport 24.
"I wanted to go to talk to Rossi in the dressing room but there was a wall of people who blocked me and I couldn't. I'll do so in the coming days.
"I hope his injury isn't serious."
Fiorentina secured a 1-0 win in Sunday's meeting courtesy of Gonzalo Rodriguez's second-half strike.