Juventus have announced the re-signing of Fabio Cannavaro from Real Madrid. The centre-back's contract with the Spaniards runs out at the end of June, and he has signed a one-year deal with La Vecchia Signora.
The 35-year-old was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2006, after captaining Italy to 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ glory. That was also the summer he left Juve, whom he had represented for two seasons, to join Real after the Turin giants were relegated into Serie B for match-fixing.
His move angered many fans and when his possible return to the club was first mooted, it received mixed reactions from Juventus fans, some of whom have not forgiven him for deserting them. Even so, the player is looking forward to making his return and winning over his detractors.
"I'm delighted to have returned to Turin and to have the opportunity to wear the black and white jersey again," said Cannavaro. "I'm sorry that in some fans anger prevails over the appreciation for the glorious seasons we lived through together. I'm convinced that I can win over even the biggest skeptics through hard work, professionalism and the passion with which I will tackle this new adventure."
Cannavaro was born in Naples and played for hometown club Napoli for three seasons, before joining Parma in 1995. He helped I Gialloblu win the UEFA Cup and two Coppa Italias over a seven-year period at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.
He left to join Inter Milan in 2002, but after only two seasons moved on to Juventus. Upon joining Real Madrid in 2006, Cannavaro helped the club win back-to-back La Liga crowns.
"Fabio is a World Cup winner, a Ballon d'Or winner and a great man in the changing rooms," said Juventus's sports director Alessio Secco. "During the summer of 2006 the club had to sell him to deal with an economic crisis. This year we have waited out the end of Cannavaro's (Real) contract in order to bring him back to Turin and we're sure that he will make Juventus more competitive."
Over his 17-year career, Cannavaro has represented his country 124 times, scoring twice.