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Wednesday, 8 November, 2000, 00:31 GMT
On-off debut for Pars' Rossi
Youssef Rossi tackles Brazil striker Ronaldo during the World Cup
Youssef Rossi tackles Brazil striker Ronaldo during the World Cup
Youssef Rossi has made his long-awaited debut in a Dunfermline Athletic strip - only to be sent off after a mere 25 minutes.

Athletic manager Jimmy Calderwood has predicted that the Moroccan international will prove to be one of the best defenders in Scottish football.

However, Rossi was shown the red card for a heavy challenge on Craig Russell during an Under-21 match at home to St Johnstone.

The centre-back, who starred for Morocco against Scotland in the last World Cup finals, signed from French club Rennes in the summer but had not fully recovered from a cruciate ligament injury.

False starts

Rossi, who has 58 caps for his country, finally made his bow on a rain-lashed, windswept East End Park but soon fell foul of referee James Bee.

Saints went on to win the match 2-0 thanks to goals from Ross Forsyth and Russell.

Dunfermline have refused to rush Rossi into action as they fear he might end up like Michael Mols, the Rangers striker who has suffered several false starts in his year-long battle back to fitness.

Now Calderwood must decide whether 25 minutes of reserve football is enough to prepare the player for Saturday's Premier League match at home to Motherwell.

While the manager is keen to show off the player, whose transfer will only be complete once he has been declared fully fit, the 2-0 victory away to St Johnstone may persuade him that he can again afford to be cautious about his prize asset.

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See also:

04 Nov 00 |  Scot Prem
Pars have too much for Saints
21 Oct 00 |  Dunfermline Athletic
Pars will not rush Rossi
08 Jul 00 |  Dunfermline Athletic
Dunfermline snap up Moroccan Rossi
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