Rossi believes Balotelli partnership can work

Thrilled to be back in the international setup, the New Jersey native said he and the Milan man 'don’t see each other as opposites.'
Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi believes he can form a healthy strike partnership with Mario Balotelli for Italy.

The Viola star has been out of the Azzurri setup for two years due to lengthy injury problems and, in that time, Balotelli has become a regular starter under Cesare Prandelli.

Balotelli's move to AC Milan in January cemented his spot as his goalscoring improved back home in Serie A, though Rossi is insistent he can work alongside the charismatic San Siro attacker.

"Everyone knows Balotelli's characteristics and that he is a great player, but I think I can play alongside any of the forwards in this squad," the New Jersey-born striker told reporters Tuesday. "We’ll certainly have the chance to do well together. We don’t see each other as opposites. We are friends, as we are with everyone in the side."

The 26-year-old is tied for second in Serie A's 2013-14 scoring list alongside Marek Hamsik on five goals - one behind in-form Torino forward Alessio Cerci - and he knows he will need to ease back into international soccer, despite his excitement to return.

"My journey towards full recovery is still continuing, but I’m happy to be back in the Nazionale," he continued. "It feels like I’ve come back home. I spoke to Cesare Prandelli about my fitness levels and we all agree on the approach to take. After two years on the sidelines, playing seven games in a short space of time like I did at Fiorentina was tough.

"I believe in my qualities and, when playing with teammates like mine at Fiorentina, it all becomes easier. This is why I’ve been able to play so well recently."

One person who was not thrilled with Rossi's Italy return is his agent Andrea Pastorello, who suggested rest and recuperation is what the former Villarreal forward really needs.

"Actually I was hoping that Prandelli did not call him up," Pastorello told Radio Toscana. "He's seemed very tired, but he had a strong desire to return to the national team."