Fabio Cannavaro, Ufficiale OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfaːbjo kannaˈvaːro]; born 13 September 1973) is an Italian former professional footballer and current manager of Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian.
Cannavaro is considered to be one of the greatest defenders of all time. 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 Italia titles, the 1999 Supercoppa Italiana, and the 1999 UEFA Cup. After spells at Internazionale and Juventus, he transferred along with manager Fabio Capello from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2006, 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 football in 2011 after an injury-troubled season. After his retirement, he became a member of the coaching staff of Al-Ahli, notably as global ambassador and technical director from 2011 to 2013, and as an assistant coach from 2013 to 2014. In November 2014, he was appointed as head coach of Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande. On June 9, 2016, he signed a contract with second tier Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian as manager.
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 helped his national team to the final of Euro 2000, being named to the team of the tournament, and eventually became captain in 2002, following Paolo Maldini's retirement. Cannavaro led Italy to victory in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, and was given the nickname "Il Muro di Berlino" ("The Berlin Wall") by the Italian supporters due to his defensive performances, which saw Italy keep five clean sheets and concede only two goals, neither of which were in open play; he was later awarded the Silver Ball after being named the tournament's second best player. In 2009, he overtook Maldini as the most capped player in the country's history. He retired 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. In total, he has represented Italy at four FIFA World Cups, two UEFA European Championships, the 1996 Summer Olympics, and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. He is currently Italy's second all-time appearance holder, behind Gianluigi Buffon, and has made the most appearances for Italy as captain (79).
He was named the 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year, and won the Ballon d'Or award in 2006 which made 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. In 2007 he was in the six man shortlist for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. His younger brother Paolo is also a professional footballer, who plays for Italian side Sassuolo.Close