Cannavaro forced to retire
Italy's 2006 FIFA World Cup™-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro has retired at the age of 37 due to a persistent knee injury. Cannavaro announced his decision today, after a year playing in the United Arab Emirates for Al Ahli. The 37-year-old began his career at Napoli and went on to star for Parma, Inter Milan, Juventus - where he had two spells - and Real Madrid.
The crowning moment of his career came in Berlin on July 9 2006 when Italy beat France in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw, to win the FIFA World Cup final. He won FIFA's World Player of the Year award and the Ballon d'Or later in the same year, and became Italy's most-capped player, making 136 appearances from 1997 to 2010.
"I am very sad, football means everything to me. Unfortunately, my knee can no longer hold up," Cannavaro said, according to www.gazzetta.it. Speaking in Dubai, Cannavaro confirmed his plans to remain with Al Ahli. He said: "I intend to stay here for the next three years, as a director."
Cannavaro, who was born in Naples, captained his country through the 2010 FIFA World Cup campaign in South Africa but called time on his international career after the disappointment of failing to reach the knock-out stages.