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Ex-Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi: I lost count of my knee surgeries

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Former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi says he "lost count" of how many knee surgeries he's had as he opened up on his injury woes.

The ex-Italy international moved to Old Trafford from Parma as a 16-year-old amid high expectation in 2004. However, he has been plagued with serious knee injuries ever since which effectively ruined any chance he had of playing at the top level.

Yet he is determined not to give up and to make the most of his ability.

"I kinda lost count of the knee surgeries -- maybe four? Or five?" Rossi, now 31, told BBC Sport. "When I sit back and think about it, I get annoyed and you start going around in circles in your head.

"Every injury has its own story -- it took something away, if it's a World Cup, the European Cup, or a big transfer. But the dream doesn't stop and I am here today living the dream that I have always wanted to and keep trying to gain what I lost."

Rossi claims Sir Alex Ferguson didn't want him to leave for Villarreal when the Spanish side came with a £6.6 million bid in 2007, but the Italian-American striker was determined to find first-team football.

However, two serious knee injuries hampered his time at El Madrigal -- though his 82 goals in six seasons make him the club's record goal scorer.

In 2013, he joined Fiorentina where he suffered further injury heartache. A horror tackle from Leonardo Rinaudo cut short his 2013-14 season while he was the Serie A leading goal scorer. Further knee trouble restricted him to a total of just 42 appearances in five seasons.

Rossi then spent time on loan at Levante and Celta Vigo before joining Genoa last summer -- where he scored his first Serie A goal for four years -- and is now a free agent.

He made 30 appearances for Italy from 2008 to 2014 and scored seven goals.