Real Salt Lake's Rossi: 'Hard to believe' Italy's coronavirus crisis

NYCFC player performs original song with uplifting message (1:37)

NYCFC's Gudmundur Thorarinsson performs a song he wrote as a message of encouragement during the pandemic. (1:37)

Real Salt Lake forward Giuseppe Rossi has said it is "hard to believe" that Italy has been one of the hardest-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic.

Rossi, a former Italy international who was born in the U.S. but had several stints in Italy at club level, still has family roots in both countries. Yet, at the moment, he is isolated in Salt Lake City, with his wife back in New Jersey.

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The 33-year-old said that separation from family has made dealing with the outbreak even more difficult, especially with Italy sustaining over 25,000 deaths and under strict quarantine. New Jersey has suffered as well, with over 5,000 deaths.

"Thank you God, that [my family] they're all fine," Rossi said during a video conference with reporters. "They're just cooped up in the house. I have my aunt [in Italy] who lives a kilometre away from my cousin, her son, and they haven't seen each other in like a month, a month and a half. I mean it's just bizarre. It's crazy.

"I think you'd only go out for shopping one time a week. So like, they definitely have it harder than us. I keep in contact with everybody, I'm sure that they know that I'm thinking about them, and they're all in my prayers we're all praying we're all, we're all trying to stick together and just be there for one another."

Rossi has found some solace in the workouts set up by RSL's training staff. The forward said that his coaches have been "on top" of his teammates and that the workouts have been a welcome distraction.

"I want to work out for like 10 hours straight, because your mind just goes to the workout and you're not thinking about all the things that are around you," he added.

The RSL forward has had some considerable downtime and has resorted to all kinds of activities to fill the days, both old school and new. Rossi said he has taken up painting, bought a PlayStation and a 1,000-piece puzzle. He has watched "Tiger King" and "Bad Blood" on Netflix. He has worked on improving his cooking as well, even making lamb on Easter Sunday.

"I made it [food] and it came out beautiful. I was so happy. My mom was so proud," he added. "It was like a celebration. I'm like, 'This is amazing.' It was just for me, and then a salad because I didn't want to make roasted potatoes, it was too much work."

Rossi's injury-riddled career, which includes multiple ACL injuries, has forced him to be away from the game for some excruciatingly long stretches. He said that helped him cope with his environment, though the isolation adds a new dimension to the experience.

"I think I'm learning how things are not in my control, how I'm able to stay patient, how I'm able to just go on with life knowing that my destiny is not in my own control," he added. "I still have difficulty trying to comprehend on how the hell are we in the situation.

"I want to go back to train, I want to go back home and see my family. These are things that I can't control and these are things that I have to respect, that I have to understand and learn how to cope with it. So, yeah, it's a process I think so many people are going through. And maybe one day we'll all write a book about how we went through this, this quarantine."