According to many outlets in Spain, Fabio Cannavaro seems to be counting down his days at Real Madrid. Reports state the AC Milan will try to sign the former World Player of the Year. The Spanish side decided to not extend the Italian’s contract which is to expire at the end of this season. Milan look to shore up their aging backline by obtaining Il Bello at the lowest price possible during the transfer window after they obtained the temporary services of David Beckham just before Christmas.
There is little doubt on the Spanish side that Cannavaro will stay until the end of his contract. The defender is in no rush to address this issue either. In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport he mentioned that as well as the fact that “it is up to Real Madrid” whether he returns to Valdebebas. It would virtually be suicide for the Merengues to get rid of him at this point in the season as none of their recent acquisitions or any other player they have in their radar address their defensive problems. The only one that would come close to somewhat satisfying that would be Lassana Diarra. The former Portsmouth midfielder received comparisons to former French international and Madrid stalwart Claude Makelele.
Cannavaro, 35, never seemed to have “fit in” at Real Madrid. That seems to have been a ridiculous thing to say as he remained a rock in the middle despite having to cover for so many others. The defensive scheme at Madrid was never as good as it was at Juventus or at the Italian national team. Yes, there were times in which he was non-existent, but when Fabio was at the top of his game he was an asset. With Iker Casillas under the sticks and Cannavaro anchoring the Merengue backline they won two consecutive league titles; ending a four-year drought in the process.
Who to believe? On Wednesday, Milan president Adriano Galliani denied this story saying it was “untrue”. There is merit to that side of the story since they signed Fluminense defender Thiago Silva and he would most likely take over for the eternal Paolo Maldini as of this July.
Cannavaro also hinted a return to his first love- Napoli. A native of Naples, Cannavaro would consider ending his career at the club where he grew up and became a star in Serie A.
Two League titles (2006-07, 2007-08)
Spanish Super Cup (2008)
2 Coppa Italia titles (1998-99, 2001-02)
Italian Super Cup (1999)
UEFA Cup (1998)
Italian National Team
World Cup Winner (2006)
Best Italian Defender (2005-06
Italian Footballer of the Year (2006)
World Cup Silver Ball Winner (2006)
Balon D’Or (2006)
World Cup Starting XI (2006)
World Soccer Player of the Year (2006)
FIFAPro World XI (2006)
* Won two Scudettos with Juventus, but they were taken away from them after the Calciopoli scandal.