Clubs - Napoli ,Parma , Inter , Juventus , Real Madrid , Juventus , Al-Ahli
Article by Ross Bell
I'm not sure what else I can say about Fabio that people haven't already said before he is a truly legendary Centre Back who spent the whole of his footballing career at the very top level of club football (we will forget about his spell with David O'Leary's Al -Ahli).
He started his Career at Napoli coming through their youth academy , he made the jump to the full team at the start of the 92/93 season He gained a reputation when, in a training session at Napoli, the young Fabio produced a strong tackle on Maradona, who was then the undisputed star of the club. The rough challenge angered teammates and staff at Napoli; Maradona himself, however, defended the promising player and encouraged him to play the way he wanted. Cannavaro remained at Napoli until 1995, earning nearly 60 total appearances with one goal.
He moved on from Napoli who struggling for funds were forced in to selling him to Parma , he was instantly a regular in the first team, scoring once in 29 appearances in the league. He would go on not only to win the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia with Parma, but he also had several personal accomplishments , Fabio was consistently one of the best defenders in Serie A, which led to a €23 million transfer to Inter in 2002.
His time at Inter was marred with injury and poor form he only lasted 2 years at Inter before he left for Juventus in a part exchange deal involving Juventus reserve team Goalkeeper Fabian Carini , in total at inter he made only 50 apperances and scored 2 goals .
By coming to Turin, he reunited with his ex-Parma teammates Lilian Thuram and Gianluigi Buffon, and together the threesome formed one of the most feared defences in the Serie A, They went on to win two consecutive Scudetti in 2005 and 2006. Cannavaro also won one Oscar del Calcio: the Football Oscar, for his exceptional debut season at the Turin giants. Following the Calciopoli trial verdicts 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 manager Fabio Capello to Real Madrid.
Madrid paid €7 million for Fabio in 2006 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. Sadly Fabio would never truly reach the heights of his best years again and he started to show weakness against young quick players of la liga at the end of the 09/10 it was confirmed that he would return to the now Serie A Juventus he only returned for one season and never really recaptured the form that made him the best defender in Serie A few years before.
His international career Spanned over two decades with the Azzurri making his debut against Northern Ireland in 1997 and finishing his international career as the captain of the 2010 World Cup team his international career didnt end well as Italy crashed out at the group stage after being embarrassed by New Zealand , his international career highlight must surely be the 2006 World Cup captaining the team to win the WC conceding only 2 goals during the whole competition one a Og against the USA and the other a Zidane penalty in the final
In terms of personal honours he was awarded the Ballon D'or in 2006 becoming the first defender since the great Matthias Sammer in 1996