Rossi in 1990
|Date of birth||20 July 1964|
|Place of birth||Cesena, Italy|
|Height||1.98 m (6 ft 6 in)|
|1982–1983||→ Forlì (loan)||11||(0)|
|1984–1985||→ Empoli (loan)||0||(0)|
|1985–1986||→ Rondinella (loan)||28||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
During a 21-year professional career, he appeared in 346 Serie A games, most notably representing A.C. Milan (12 seasons), with which he won 12 major titles, namely five national championships and the 1994 UEFA Champions League.
Rossi was born in Cesena. Refusing the opportunity to play basketball, he joined his hometown club A.C. Cesena in 1979, at the age of fifteen. In 1982–83, on loan, he made his senior debuts, A.C. Forlì, a small club in the Serie C1, being backup in a relegation-ending season.
After two more loans, Rossi returned to Cesena for the 1986–87 season, only missing five games as the Emilia-Romagna club promoted to Serie A, and retaining first-choice status in the following three top division seasons, with the club finishing 12th in 1989–90; he made his debut in the competition on 13 September 1987, in a home match against S.S.C. Napoli.
After his first season in Italy's top flight, Rossi was noticed by A.C. Milan, and joined the Rossoneri (also dubbed the Dream Team) that dominated Italian football for much of the 1990s. In his first season he backedup Andrea Pazzagli, but the veteran left for Bologna F.C. 1909 in the ensuing summer.
Rossi then briefly battled for starting duties with Francesco Antonioli, before becoming Milan's undisputed first-choice goalkeeper, being part of a legendary defensive line that included, amongst others, Mauro Tassotti, Franco Baresi, Alessandro Costacurta and Paolo Maldini. Ironically, this strong defence was one of the reasons why Rossi was rarely called-up by Italy: Arrigo Sacchi, who coached the national team during this time, evidently felt that it was the defence and not the goalkeeper that was responsible for the club's great success. Under the tutelage of Fabio Capello, the Invincibles went on a famous 58-match unbeaten run and won four Scudetti in five seasons.
After the 1996 championship, Milan suddenly fell from the throne, finishing 11th in 1997 and 10th in 1998, as Rossi's own career also declined. During round 17 of the 1998-99 season, Milan were leading Perugia 2-0 at the 90' when a penalty was awarded to Perugia; after Hidetoshi Nakata converted the penalty, Cristian Bucchi was retrieving the ball in the back of the net when he was struck by Rossi. Rossi was red carded and given a 5 match ban. Consequentially, Christian Abbiati made is first appearance in Serie A at the 92' while Rossi lost the first-choice status. He did contribute with 13 appearances in another league conquest, in 1998–99.
Perugia / Retirement
After the 2001–02 season, Rossi moved to Perugia Calcio, who were facing a goalkeeper crisis at the time. He contributed relatively as the club retained its top level status, then retired at the end of that sole campaign, at the age of 39.
Rossi made one final appearance for Milan at the San Siro, in a testimonial match for Demetrio Albertini, his teammate for eleven seasons. Subsequently, he worked as goalkeeper coach in the club's youth department.
Rossi is the record holder for the longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A history. In an 11-match span from 12 December 1993 to 27 February 1994, he kept a clean sheet for 929 consecutive minutes, before being beaten by an excellent long-range strike by Foggia's Igor Kolyvanov at the San Siro. He beat the record set by Dino Zoff in the 1972–73 season by 26 minutes.
*European competitions include the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup, and UEFA Super Cup *Other competitions include the Italian Super Cup & Intercontinental Cup
- A.C. Milan Hall of Fame