ROME - Italy and Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi boosted his World Cup selection hopes after returning to action in the Italian Cup final on Saturday.
Rossi, who previously missed two years of his career due to injury, ended a four-month injury lay-off when he came on for the final 20 minutes of Fiorentina's 3-1 Cup defeat to Napoli at Rome's Olympic Stadium.
He will now battle to regain full fitness in the final Serie A games of the season in the hope of making Cesare Prandelli's 23-man squad for the World Cup in June.
"I feel good, very happy to have returned but obviously disappointed with the result," Rossi told AFP.
Rossi had little time to impress Prandelli, who was in the stadium, but had club coach Vincenzo Montella purring after the game.
"He's doing well. He's lacking some rhythm but I saw him going in for tackles and that's a sign that he has no fear," said Montella.
Having made his return for Fiorentina at the start of the season following a lengthy period on the sidelines, Rossi raced into the lead of the Serie A scoring charts, netting 14 times in just 18 games, before his progress was stopped when he suffered a knee injury on January 5.
He is one of several strikers, including Serie A top scorer Ciro Immobile, hoping to partner striker Mario Balotelli in Brazil.