MX23RW : Tuesday, April 20 16:49:43| >> :600:1759438:1759438:

On this day: Fabio Cannavaro was born

On this day in 1973, Italy's World Cup winning captain Fabio Cannavaro was born in Naples.

For every professional footballer, there is perhaps no bigger honour in the sport than having the chance to captain your country. Not only did Italy's Fabio Cannavaro realise that dream, he lifted the World Cup for the European nation on home soil in 2006.

Central defenders under 6ft are rare, especially at the top level of professional football. Cannavaro grew to just 5ft 9ins, but will forever be remembered as one of the finest in the history of the sport.

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro lifts the World Cup on July 09, 2006.© Getty Images

It was on this day in September 1973 that the Italian was born to parents Gelsomina Costanzo and Pasquale Cannavaro in Naples, and it did not take long for the city's biggest team to realise the youngster's potential.

First acting as a ball boy at Napoli, Cannavaro joined the youth-team set-up in 1988 and fast gained a reputation as a tough-tackling defender when he launched into a strong challenge with a certain Diego Maradona during a training session. The defender made his first-team debut for Napoli in 1993, but he somewhat surprisingly spent just three seasons in Naples, eventually moving onto Parma in 1995.

Cannavaro was quickly handed the captaincy at Parma and went on to win four major trophies at the club – the UEFA Cup in the 1998-99 season, the Coppa Italia twice and the Supercoppa Italiana. In his time with Parma, Cannavaro made over 250 appearances in all competitions. Inter Milan came calling with a big-money offer in 2002, and the defender signed a four-year deal at the San Siro.

Inter did reach the semi-finals of the 2002-03 Champions League during Cannavaro's time at the club, but it was not the most successful period of the centre-back's career. After a two-year stint at Inter, Juventus signed the Italian on transfer deadline day in 2004. He made 74 league appearances for Juve between 2004 and 2006, before leaving following their relegation to Serie B.

Former Italian football captain Fabio Cannavaro attends a promotional event for the Tiger Street Football in Singapore on October 17, 2013© Getty Images

Cannavaro did win two league titles during his first stint at Juve, but the Italian giants were stripped of those championships following the 2006 scandal. Cannavaro was part of one of the biggest exoduses in modern-day football, with the likes of Lillian Thuram, Gianluca Zambrotta, Patrick Viera and Zlatan Ibrahimovic all leaving the club.

As a result, Cannavaro followed Fabio Capello to Real Madrid in the summer of 2006. The Italian international won consecutive league titles in each of his first two seasons at the Bernabeu, in addition to the Spanish Super Cup. He made close to 100 league appearances for the Spanish giants over three seasons, before returning to Juventus for one season in 2009.

It was not exactly the perfect home-coming for Cannavaro, whose relationship with the Juve supporters was strained following his decision to depart three years earlier. He spent just one campaign back in Turin – when Juve placed seventh in Serie A, their worst league finish for a decade - before moving to UAE Football League side Al-Ahli on a free transfer.

Cannavaro signed a two-year deal with Al-Ahli, but was forced to retire in July 2011 due to a serious knee problem. It was a disappointing last few seasons for the centre-back, but there is little doubting that his performances for Parma and Juventus, the first time around, made him one of the finest centre-backs in the sport.

Former internationals Lothar Matthaeus, Fabio Cannavaro and Daniel Passarella take a selfie prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil on July 13, 2014© Getty Images

Internationally Cannavarro also enjoyed great success – representing Italy on 136 occasions. Under Marcello Lippi, Cannavaro captained his country to the 2006 World Cup title. He played every minute of every match in the tournament in Italy and was awarded the 2006 Ballon d'Or and the 2006 World Player of the Year for his performances throughout the season and at the World Cup.

Twice named the Serie A Defender of the Year, Cannavaro, now fast approaching 42, has since entered into the world of management – taking charge of Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande in November 2014. The Italian lasted barely seven months at the helm, however, after being replaced by Luiz Felipe Scolari.

A young man that came from a modest upbringing in Naples went on to represent the likes of Juventus and Real Madrid during an eventful career. In the modern day, success as a central defender seems to be judged on size and power, but Cannavaro showed that understanding of the game is perhaps the most important attribute at the back.

ID:244429: cacheID:244429:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:restore:7156:
Restore Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Hernan Crespo of Parma celebrates a goal during the Serie A match against Vicenza at the Stadio Tardini in Parma, Italy
Read Next:
Parma's all-time Serie A XI
>
Read more about Fabio Cannavaro Football

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Premier League
Championship
Serie A
Bundesliga
Primeira Liga
Coupe de France
League One
League Two
National League
National League North
National League South
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Turkish Super Lig
NIFL Premiership
League of Ireland Premier
Welsh Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Copa Libertadores
Copa Sudamericana
Liga MX
AFC Champions League
Chinese Super League playoffs
Women's Super League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City32235467234474
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd32199464352966
3Leicester CityLeicester31175955371856
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham32167953421155
5Chelsea31159750311954
6Liverpool32158954381653
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs321481054371750
8Everton31147104340349
9Arsenal32137124436846
10Leeds UnitedLeeds32144145050046
11Aston Villa301351243331044
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves32118133241-941
13Crystal Palace31108133352-1938
14Southampton31106153956-1736
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3298153553-1835
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton31712123338-533
17Burnley3289152645-1933
18Fulham33512162543-1827
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom3159172859-3124
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3242261756-3914

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!