Fabio Cannavaro – born September 13, 1973 – was a pundit on ITV’s World Cup 2014 coverage in Brazil
The former Italian footballer and now a coach is considered to be one of the greatest defenders of all time and was given the name “Muro di Berlino” (“The Berlin Wall”) by Italian supporters.
He spent the majority of his career in Italy. He started his career at Napoli, before spending seven years at Parma, with whom he won two Coppa Italias and the 1999 UEFA Cup. After spells at Inter Milan and Juventus, Cannavaro transferred along with manager Fabio Capello from Juventus to Real Madrid, with whom he won consecutive La Liga titles in 2007 and 2008. After returning to Juventus for one season in 2009–10, he joined Al-Ahli in Dubai, where he retired from professional football in 2011 after an injury-troubled season.
Cannavaro has also achieved success with the Italian national team. He was part of the Italy team that won consecutive Under-21 European Championships in 1994 and 1996. After earning his first senior cap in 1997, he eventually became captain. Cannavaro led Italy to victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and in 2009 overtook Paolo Maldini as the most capped player in the country’s history. He announced his retirement from international football on 25 June 2010 following Italy’s failure to qualify for the knock-out stages of the 2010 World Cup, having amassed 136 caps and scored two goals for the senior national team.
He won the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 2006, making him the only defender to win the award in a decade and only the third of all time after Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer, both of Germany. His Real Madrid profile describes him as being known for his strength, anticipation of the cross, positioning and aerial game. Cannavaro’s younger brother Paolo is also a professional footballer, playing for Italian side Sassuolo.
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