Rossi defends offensive gesture towards Burdisso

The Sampdoria coach was furious with the Argentine defender's behaviour but says his gesture was not aimed at the Roma supporters
Sampdoria coach Delio Rossi has defended his reasons for making an offensive gesture towards Roma defender Nicolas Burdisso.

The 52-year-old was sent off in the closing stages of his side's 3-1 win over Giallorossi following a tussle on the touchline, and he was subsequently photographed showing his middle finger to substitute Burdisso, before being handed a two-match suspension.

“He [Burdisso] elbows and spits at players. I will not accept being insulted without reason,” Rossi told Il Messaggero.

"I am sorry that I showed the middle finger but it was not towards the Giallorossi fans, who I have respect for.

“I was giving tactical indications to my players when Burdisso insulted me from a distance. How can a professional behave like this with a coach?

"I cannot stay calm when I am insulted. Looking back, I can say I went too far, but I did not have the strength to hold myself back.”

Despite his anger at the 31-year-old Argentine, Rossi added: “I am not looking for an alibi, as I will pay for my gesture, but I don’t want to be talked about as a ‘monster.’ Some people immediately used the incident for their own ends."

Rossi has been known for controversy in the past, most notably when he was sacked as coach of Fiorentina last season after an altercation with Adem Ljajic, after he reacted to being substituted.