Cannavaro Fabio life and biography

Cannavaro Fabio picture, image, poster

Cannavaro Fabio biography

Date of birth : 1973-09-13
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Naples, Italy
Nationality : Italian
Category : Sports
Last modified : 2010-05-06
Credited as : Footballer Juventus, FIFA World player, World Cup

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Fabio Cannavaro (born 13 September 1973 in Naples, Italy) is an Italian World Cup-winning footballer who currently plays as a centre back for Serie A club Juventus. He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2006, making him the first and so far only defender to win the award, as well as the oldest recipient. With 132 caps he is the all time most capped player of the Italian national team.

Club career

Cannavaro initially served as the club's ball boy and would often watch his idols Diego Maradona and Ciro Ferrara play. His progress as a player was such that he became a member of the first team alongside some of his childhood idols. Cannavaro's debut in Serie A came on 7 March 1993 in Torino for a game against Juventus. The post-Maradona Napoli were in desperate need of funds and were soon forced to sell Cannavaro to Parma, where Cannavaro won the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia, and was named the Serie A Defender of the Year. Cannavaro remained at Napoli until 1995, earning nearly 60 total appearances with one goal.

Cannavaro was sold to Parma, in the summer of 1995, and in his first season he was instantly a regular in the first team, scoring once in 29 appearances in the league. He would go on to not only win The UEFA Cup, and the Coppa Italia, with Parma, but he also had sevaral personal accomplishments. He continued to earn national team call-ups and was consistantly one of the best defenders in Serie A, which led to a mega €23 million transfer to Internazionale, in 2001, following over 250 total appearances for the club, with 5 goals.

In the summer of 2002, Cannavaro joined Internazionale for a fee reported €23 million. During his spell with the club he reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League 2002-03 and also finished runners-up in Serie A. His second season was not as productive and he missed a large chunk of it through injury. After two years with the club, he was sold to Juventus in a part-exchange deal, after just over 50 appearances and two goals.

After a two-year stint, he signed for Juventus on the summer transfer window deadline day. The deal also involved the exchange of reserve goalkeeper, Fabian Carini who left for Inter, both player priced €10 million. By coming to Torino, he re-joined his ex-Parma teammates Lilian Thuram and Gianluigi Buffon, and together the threesome formed one of the most feared defences in the Serie A, along with the likes of Gianluca Zambrotta, Nicola Legrottaglie, Alessandro Birindelli, Giorgio Chiellini, Jonathan Zebina, and Federico Balzaretti. They went on to win two consecutive Scudetti in 2005 and 2006. Cannavaro also won l'Oscar del Calcio: Migliore difensore, the Football Oscar, for his exceptional debut season at the Turin giants. After the 2006 World Cup, the Calciopoli trial verdicts relegated Juventus to Serie B. Since Juventus was ineligible to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, Cannavaro decided to leave. "Even if I know this may be hard to believe, I would have stayed at Juventus had they remained in Serie A – even with a 30-point deduction.". He followed coach Fabio Capello to Real Madrid in the summer of 2006. In his two year Scudetto winning stint with Juventus, Cannavaro racked up over 100 total appearances in all competitions.

Real Madrid
For Real Madrid, Cannavaro was given the number 5 shirt of the legendary Zinedine Zidane. Madrid paid €7 million for the player. Cannavaro spent three seasons at Madrid, winning the La Liga title in 2006-07 and 2007-08, and was named the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year during his time with Juventus and Real Madrid combined. On 19 May 2009, it was confirmed that Cannavaro would return to Juventus for the 2009-10 season on the expiration of his contract with Real Madrid.

Return to Juventus
Three years after Cannavaro opted to leave the Italian giants, he decided to return to the club in the summer of 2009, following the expiration of his contract with Real Madrid. Cannavaro started the new season very strong, forming impressive defensive partnerships with Nicola Legrottaglie, Martin Caceres, Zdenek Grygera, Fabio Grosso, and most notably Giorgio Chiellini, in front of Gianluigi Buffon. Despite a good start to the season for Juve on all fronts, their season soon took a turn for the worse as the club are currently fighting just to qualify for the UEFA Champions League, a competition from which they were already eliminated this season.

International career

Cannavaro's first taste of international success came over a decade ago under coach Cesare Maldini with Italy's U-21 side, winning consecutive European Under-21 Football Championship titles in 1994 and 1996. In 1996, he participated in the Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

He made his debut with the Italian national team on 22 January 1997, in a friendly game against Northern Ireland. He played for his country in the 1998, 2002, and 2006 World Cups, as well as Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.

Cannavaro's first international tournament came at 1998 FIFA World Cup under the mentorship of veteran defender Paolo Maldini, and the squad was coached by Maldini's father Cesare. Italy went out in the quarter-finals to hosts and eventual champions France; Cannavaro suffered a cut on his forehead from an elbow by Stéphane Guivarc'h but played the remainder of the match after receiving treatment. The Azzurri managed to push the game to a 0-0 draw but the match was decided by a penalty shoot-out after the teams were tied 0-0.

In Euro 2000, it was Les Bleus who once again shattered Italy's dreams. Cannavaro had a strong tournament, playing as right-back, and the Azzurri reached the final, where they led the then world champions 1-0 going into injury time. Near the end of regular time, Sylvain Wiltord found the equalizer, and an extra-time golden goal from David Trezeguet gave France the title.

At the 2002 FIFA World Cup he was credited with holding the defence together, almost single-handedly after Alessandro Nesta was injured against Croatia. Italy however went out in the second round, losing to co-hosts and eventual semi-finalists South Korea, again to a golden goal.

Cannavaro had a hard act to follow when he took over as captain from Maldini after the 2002 World Cup, but he quickly won the team over with his constant smile, laid-back Neapolitan approach and inspiring performances. After Maldini's international retirement he first captained Italy in a match at Napoli and received a standing ovation on the pitch where he sported the local side's colours between 1991 and 1995.

Cannavaro's first international goal was scored on 30 May 2004 against Tunisia, Italy won 4-0. Euro 2004, which was hosted by Portugal, turned out to be a disappointment. Cannavaro picked up yellow cards during the two draws with Denmark (0-0) and Sweden (1-1), forcing him to sit out the final group game. Italy defeated Bulgaria 2-1, but failed to advance on goal difference.

Cannavaro captained Italy throughout their 2006 World Cup campaign. One of his key performances came against Germany in the World Cup Semi-Finals 2006. His crowning moment was lifting the World Cup on 9 July 2006, the night of his 100th cap. Cannavaro did not receive a single yellow or red card during the 690 minutes he played in the tournament.

Along with Buffon, Cannavaro played every minute of every match in the tournament for Italy. Even with usual defensive partner Nesta out due to injury Italian defence conceded only two goals throughout the entire tournament, an own-goal against the United States and a Zidane penalty in the final against France.

With the injury of defensive partner Alessandro Nesta Cannavaro somehow managed to hold the defense together, earning him a spot on the All-Star Team at the end of the competition - awarded by FIFA's Technical Study Group - alongside five other Italian teammates, Gianluigi Buffon, Gennaro Gattuso, Andrea Pirlo, Luca Toni, and Gianluca Zambrotta. He was runner-up in the race for the Golden Ball, finishing behind French counterpart Zinedine Zidane; it was a close contest with Zidane polling 2012 points to Cannavaro's 1977.

On 2 June 2008, Cannavaro was injured during Italy's first training session for Euro 2008. Cannavaro sustained the knock following a tackle by fellow defender Giorgio Chiellini and was carried off the field on a stretcher. Italy doctor Paolo Zeppilli said: "We have to do tests but it does not look like a minor injury." Tests had shown that he tore ligaments in his left ankle. Right after the examinations, Italian journalists awaited Cannavaro, who told them: "I'm going home," with a melancholic smile on his face. After the day was over, Roberto Donadoni called up Fiorentina centre-back Alessandro Gamberini as his official replacement. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon captained the team in his place. Cannavaro added he will stay with the squad to offer support. This would have been Cannavaro's third Euro tournament.

Cannavaro has also put his plans to retire from the national team after Euro 2008 on hold and added that it has made him more determined to captain Italy through the 2010 World Cup.

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