Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro, Ufficiale OMRI (born 13 September 1973 in Naples, Italy) is a former Italian footballer considered one of the greatest defenders of all time and was given the name "Muro di Berlino" which means 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 Internazionale 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. He retired from professional football in 2011 due to an injury troubled season in Al'Ahli.

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 FIFA World Cup, having amassed 136 caps and scored 2 goals for the national team.

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. Cannavaro's younger brother Paolo is also a professional footballer.

Personal life
He married Daniela Cannavaro (née Arenoso) (born July 17, 1974 in Naples) on June 17, 1994, they have three children, Christian (born July 17, 1999 in Naples), Martina (born December 22, 2001 in Naples), and Andrea (born October 20, 2004 in Naples).

His younger brother, Paolo, is also a defender who currently plays for Napoli. The two brothers played alongside each other at Parma from 2000 until 2002, when Fabio left for Inter. Although they are no longer playing together, Fabio has expressed interest in ending his career with Paolo in a Napoli shirt.

With his fellow Napoletano Ciro Ferrara, Cannavaro has helped establish a charity foundation, Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara, specialising in the procurement of cancer research equipment and surgery for special cases of cancer for a hospital in their native Naples.

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