Fabio Cannavaro is one of the top defenders of current era. Cannavaro is the captain of Italian national team. Though short in stature, Cannavaro has good ariel capabilities, which is essential for a centre back. Cannavaro lead Italy to world cup win in 2006, as captain. FIFA voted Cannavaro, as “World Player of the year” for 2006 .Uniqueness of Cannavaro’s feat is that, he is the oldest as well as the only defender, ever to win this prestigious football award. He was the European footballer of the year in 2006 as well. Cannavaro currently plays for Italian club Juventus.
Fabio was born on 13th September 1973 at Naples, in Italy. At the age of eight, he joined local club Bagnoli. Napoli’s scout spotted him and groomed him, as a defender. Cannavaro participated in training sessions of Napoli as a ball boy during maradona’s era. Cannavaro made is Serie A debut while playing against Juventus. He played 58 matches for Napoli. In 1995, Napoli sold Cannavaro to Parma. At Parma, Cannavaro bloomed as a top defender. Parma had best defence in Serie A during that period. In 1997, Cannavaro helped Parma to become runners up in Serie A for the first times in their history, with just one point adrift the winners Juventus. In 1999, Cannavaro won Copa Italia, UEFA cup, as well as Super Copa Italia with Parma. He was the second best defender in Italy during 2000 as well as 2001.He won Copa Italia again in 2002 with Parma. He played 212 league matches for Parma, during his seven-year stint with them.
In 2002, Internazionale signed Cannavaro for 23 million Euros. He helped Internazionale to finish as the Serie A runners-up. Inter reached UEFA Champions league semi-finals during that season. Injuries harmed his progress with Inter Milan. Cannavaro played 50 matches for Inter Milan. He joined Juventus in 2004 in a transfer deal in the legion of 10 million Euros as well as a player in exchange. He teamed up with his former Parma teammates Thuram and Buffon, to build a solid defence. Cannavaro won consecutive Serie A titles with Juventus in 2005 and 2006.However, Italian football federation stripped Juventus of their titles in wake of the trial verdict of Calciopoli match fixing scandal. Cannavaro captained Juventus during his stint with them. Juventus was relegated to Serie B, for their involvement in the scandal. He played 76 league matches for Juventus.
In 2006, Cannavaro moved to Spain and joined Real Madrid after the world cup success. Cannavaro helped Real Madrid to win their first Spanish La Liga title in four years, in2007.He was again solid at defence during next season, and Real Madrid went on with win their 31st La Liga title. Cannavaro and Real Madrid struggled during 2008 season and they finished second in the La Liga, to Barcelona. He played 94 matches for Real Madrid during his three-year association with them. He left Real Madrid at the end of his contract in 2009 and rejoined his former club Juventus. There were agitations against his return to Juventus, by fans.
Cannavaro has a great career with Italian national team. He won European under-21 championships in 1994 as well as 1996 with Italian under-21 side. He participated in Atlanta Summer Olympics held in 1996.He made his senior International debut against Northern Ireland, in 1997.He played in 1998, 2002, as well as 2006 world cups for Italy. In Euro 2000, he helped Italy to reach final. In 2002 world cup, Italy went out of the tournament in knockout stage. He became the captain of Italy in 2002. He led the Italian team to European glory in 2006 world cup. He won the silver ball at 2006 world cup. He represented Italy in 126 international matches. He is hoping to participate in 2010 world cup. Cannavaro is one of the all time great football team players.