Monday, September 13, 2010

13 September 1973 - A Born Leader

On 13 September 1973, future Italian World Cup-winning captain and 2006 FIFA World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro was born in Naples. A center back, he is the only defender in history to win that award.

Cannavaro got his start in 1988 with the Napoli youth team, then signed with the senior side in 1992. In 1995, he moved to Parma, where he rose to international prominence and won his first silverware - a 1999 treble consisting of the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italia, and UEFA Cup. That success prompted a €23 million transfer to Inter in the summer of 2002, but he stayed there only two seasons before moving to Juventus (2004-06).

In his two seasons at Juve, he won two Serie A titles, then followed that stint by captaining the Italian national team to the World Cup title. Cannavaro played every minute for the Azzurri, who conceded only two goals in the tournament (an own goal against the US and a penalty kick against France). For his efforts, he received the FIFA World Player of the Year Award.

After the World Cup, Cannavaro moved to Real Madrid for three seasons, which included two La Liga titles, then returned to Juventus in 2009. But his form began to suffer and, in 2010, the club decided not to renew his contract. He then shocked the footballing community by moving to Al-Ahli Dubai, his current club.

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