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Fabio Cannavaro Biography

One of the three defenders to ever win the Ballon d’Or and considered to be one of the best defenders in the history of football, Fabio Cannavaro is an Italian footballer and we want to take a look at his biography in this article.

Fabio Cannavaro, born September 13, 1973, in Naples, is a retired Italian international football player and a current coach. He played as a central defender. His younger brother Paolo Cannavaro was also a professional footballer.

Beginning his career in 1992, the Italian defender played for several clubs in his country such as Napoli, Parma FC, Inter Milan and Juventus FC. However, he only enjoyed success with Parma FC, winning the UEFA Cup in 1999, the Italian Cup in 1999, 2002 and the Italian Supercup in 1999.

In 2006, he joined Real Madrid, where he proved himself by winning the La Liga in 2007, 2008 and the Spanish Super Cup in 2008. In 2010 he joined Al-Ahli Dubai club in the United Arab Emirates, where he ended his professional career.

With the Italian national team, he won the European Champion U-21 Championship in 1994 and 1996, and participated in four World Cups, winning the World Cup in 2006. He was also a finalist of the European Championship in 2000. He was the captain of Italy national team from 2002 to 2010 and the second most capped player in the history of the Italian team.

2006 was the most successful year in his career, as he won the Ballon d'Or, FIFA Footballer of the Year, Serie A Player of the Year, Serie A Italian Player of the Year and Serie A Defender of the Year. He is considered the best defender of his generation. He retired from playing professional football at 2011 when he was the defender of Al-Ahli in UAE.

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All You Need to Know about Fabio Cannavaro Biography

Cannavaro had become a member of


coaching team after his retirement as a player, he was the technical director of the team and also Al-Ahli's global ambassador from 2011 to 2013, he was also the Assistant Coach of the Dubai club between 2013 and 2014. He was named head coach of the Chinese club, Guangzhou Evergrande, in November of 2014. He signed an agreement with Tianjin Quanjian, the Chinese second-tier side, as manager on 9 June 2016, where he guided the team to the Chinese league. In 2017, he moved back to Guangzhou Evergrande as their new manager.

Fabio Cannavaro Information

Now let’s take a look at some of the general information about Fabio Cannavaro before moving on with his biography. Stay tuned to read more about

Fabio Cannavaro biography


Fabio Cannavaro Bio

  • Full Name: Fabio Cannavaro

  • Nickname: The Berlin Wall

  • Profession: Professional Footballer, Football Manager

Fabio Cannavaro Physical Stats

  • Weight: 75 Kg

  • Height: 1.75 m

  • Eye Color: Blue

  • Hair Color: Dark Brown

Fabio Cannavaro Football Information

  • Position: Central Defender

  • Jersey Number: 5

  • Professional Debut: 1992

Fabio Cannavaro Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 13 September 1973

  • Birth Place: Naples, Campania, Italy

  • Zodiac Sign: Virgo

  • Nationality: Italian

Stay tuned to read more about Fabio Cannavaro biography and his early life.

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Fabio Cannavaro Early Life

Fabio Cannavaro was born in Naples, on September 13, 1973. He is the son of Pasquale, a banker, and Gelsomina, a housekeeper. He is the second of three siblings: Paolo, the youngest of them, was also a professional footballer and for two years the two brothers were on the same team, Parma FC; while her sister Renata, the oldest, is a pharmacist.

Fabio Cannavaro’s brother Paolo is currently working together with him as the assistant coach of the

Guangzhou Evergrande

in the Chinese Super League. In

Fabio Cannavaro childhood

, when he was just 12 years old, Napoli crowned the Italy league champions with the help of Diego Maradona, when at the time was the star of the Naples club.

The day that Napoli won Serie A, he was at the Stadio San Paolo, working as a ball boy and he celebrated the title win with the team. It was 3 years later that Cannavaro signed for the Napoli youth teams. Stay tuned to read more about

Fabio Cannavaro biography

and his career.

Fabio Cannavaro Profile

He began to play football in the youth ranks of the Italsider, in the Bagnoli camp where he was accompanied by his father Pasquale. After working at the San Paolo Stadium as a ball boy, watching and admiring the heroes like Diego Armando Maradona and Ciro Ferrara, he entered the youth team of Napoli, first as a midfielder and then as a defender.

He played his first match in Serie A on 7 March 1993, at the age of 19 years, in the match that Napoli lost 4-3 in Turin against


. In the 1993-1994 season, the manager Marcello Lippi used him more frequently, often pairing him with the more experienced Ciro Ferrara in the role of central defender. The following season he made his debut in the UEFA Cup and also scored the first goal in his career, on the match of Milan-Napoli (1-1) on January 8, 1995.

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Although in the summer of 1995 he had announced that he would stay at Napoli, he was sold for 13 billion liras to Parma. The deal was completed to improve the financial situation of the club. Fabio Cannavaro was a first-team player for Parma in his first season. Under coach Nevio Scala, he made 29 appearances in the Serie A and reached the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup, where they lost to Paris Saint-Germain.

For the new season, Parma hired Carlo Ancelotti as a coach and he led Parma to finish second in the league, behind Juventus. Therefore, the following season


participated in the Champions League but was eliminated there in the group stage at the second place behind

Borussia Dortmund

. However, the next season Cannavaro won his first titles with Parma. Parma was able to win the Coppa Italia by two draws against AC Florence, with the help of the away goals rule. Parma was also very successful internationally. The club won the UEFA Cup for the first time that season by beating

Olympique Marseille

3-0 in the final. The club continued to play successful soccer over the next few years, winning the Coppa Italia once again in Cannavaro's final season.

At Parma, Cannavaro proved himself as one of Italy's best defenders and, along with Gianluigi Buffon and Lilian Thuram, formed a brilliant defense that gained world recognition. During his time at Parma, Cannavaro was also first named to the

Italy national team

by Cesare Maldini and quickly developed into a regular there. Overall, Cannavaro's good performances had attracted attention and he was therefore signed by Inter Milan for €11.5 million in the summer of 2002.

Inter Milan

Although Lazio's president Sergio Cragnotti had already announced in the summer of 2000 that they had acquired preemptive rights for Cannavaro, the player did not move to Lazio because the club was heavily in debt and had to take cost-cutting measures. Instead, he moved to

Inter Milan

, thus turning down further offers from other clubs that had an official interest. Inter, which had finished third the season before, played in the Champions League that season and reached the semifinals with Cannavaro and his former teammate Hernán Crespo.

There, Inter failed to beat city rivals and later winners AC Milan, due to the away goals rule. On the other hand, Inter finished ahead of Milan in the league and were runners-up behind Juventus Turin, which meant they qualified for the Champions League again. The next season, however, Inter fell short of expectations, being eliminated in the Champions League group stage and finishing only fourth in Serie A. Although Cannavaro had signed a four-year contract with Inter, he left the club after that season and moved to Juventus Turin.

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In Turin, Cannavaro played again with his former teammates from Parma, Gianluigi Buffon and Lilian Thuram. Again, the three played brilliantly together and won the Scudetto twice in a row with Juventus. But things didn't go so well for Juve in the Champions League, as the team was eliminated in the quarterfinals both years.

But the successful years came to an abrupt end in Turin. In May 2006, the manipulation scandal was uncovered and Juventus Turin was stripped of both championship titles and the club had to accept forced relegation to Serie B. As a result, Cannavaro, along with coach Fabio Capello, left the club to join Real Madrid, who had already been interested in him since 2004.

Real Madrid

Cannavaro, who was voted European Footballer of the Year and FIFA World Player of the Year in 2006 despite the manipulation scandal, was a leader of the defense for the Real Madrid team and became a favorite of the fans. Together with Fabio Capello, he was also able to win the La Liga in his first season with

Real Madrid

. In the next season, the team successfully defended the title.

An international success, however, failed to arrive: In all three seasons Cannavaro spent with Real, the team was eliminated in the round of 16 of the Champions League. After the 2008/09 season, Cannavaro's contract at Real Madrid expired and he moved on a free transfer back to his old club Juventus, which was promoted straight back to Serie A in 2006/07.

Return to Juventus

Juve's season under Ciro Ferrara started promisingly, but by the end, their league position was only enough for the UEFA Europa League and not the Champions League, in which the club had already been eliminated in the group stage that season. In August 2009, Cannavaro had tested positive for cortisone during a doping control but escaped punishment.

Instead, two Juve doctors were banned for two months for being responsible for the late exemption. As Cannavaro's contract at the Old Lady was not renewed, he moved to the United Arab Emirates after one year.


At Al-Ahli Dubai, Cannavaro was given a two-year contract with a salary of one million euros per year. On 19 June 2011, the Italian defender's contract was terminated early by Al-Ahli for poor performances.

On 9 July 2011, the fifth anniversary of winning the 2006 World Cup final, Cannavaro ended his playing career.

Italy National Team

Fabio Cannavaro's first national appearances were for the U-21 team in the mid-1990s under Cesare Maldini. There he played in central defense with Alessandro Nesta, forming a promising duo that won the U-21 European Championship in 1994 and 1996. Since then, he has represented Italy at four World Cups (1998 in France, 2002 in Japan and South Korea, 2006 in


, and 2010 in South Africa). He also played for Italy in two European Championships (2000 in Belgium and the Netherlands and 2004 in Portugal).

He made his international debut for the senior team on January 22, 1997, in a 2-0 win over Northern Ireland. The final of the 2006 World Cup in Berlin, in which the Italians became World Cup champions for the fourth time, was his 100th game for the team. As captain of his team, he was awarded the FIFA World Cup after the victory over France. He also received the Silver Ball award for the second most valuable player at the World Cup and was one of seven Italian players named by FIFA to the World Cup All-Star team.

Fabio Cannavaro was also named captain in coach Donadoni's lineup for the 2008 European Championship in Austria and Switzerland. On June 2, 2008, he tore a ligament in his left ankle in a collision with Giorgio Chiellini during training and was forced to forgo participation in the European Championship due to the injury.

On 21 June 2009, he played his 126th international match in the Confederations Cup against Brazil (0-3), equaling Paolo Maldini's Italy international record. On August 12, 2009, he became Italy's sole record holder with his 127th international appearance. During the World Cup, he increased the number of his caps to 136, but was eliminated with Italy in the preliminary round. On September 10, 2013, Gianluigi Buffon broke Cannavaro's record with his 136th international appearance in a 2-1 win over the

Czech Republic


Cannavaro ended his national team career after the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Cannavaro captained the national team in 79 matches, making him also the record captain. Stay tuned to read more about Fabio Cannavaro biography and his style of play.

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Style of Play

While he mainly thrived as a center-back, because of his ability to read the game, sometimes he was also played as a left or right back, particularly under his Inter coach Héctor Cúper. This has been made possible by Cannavaro's tactical knowledge, agility, technical skill, ability to play balls, power, low gravity center and pace, which have allowed Cannavaro to play from the defensive line after he getting back the ball.

Cannavaro as a defender was particularly renowned for his focus, anticipation, perception and sense of position. He was highly regarded for his aerial skills, compassion, strength, athletic power, timing and heading precision, considering his comparatively small size, which allowed him to jump higher than bigger players, which made him especially talented at standing crosses, or in scoring headed goals from set-pieces. In addition, he also showed him a strong standing. He made a reputation for himself during his career as a dynamic, reliable, tenacious and full defender, renowned for his pace, agility, reflexes, and stamina, and also his willingness to tackle, and his precise sliding challenges in particular.


Fabio Cannavaro is considered by many football fans to be the best central defender of his days and all of the individual honors he managed to win during his career just proves this. Cannavaro is one of the three football defenders who were able to win Ballon d’Or alongside Matthias Sammer and Franz Beckenbauer.

Goal Celebration

As a defender, Fabio Cannavaro never had enough chance to score goals, and the fact that during all of his club and international career he has just scored 22 goals shows that he actually never had a chance to have a signature goal celebration to his name. However, one celebration that we often saw Fabio Cannavaro did after scoring goals was to see Cannavaro raise both of his hands, shouting of joy.

Fabio Cannavaro Outside Football

Fabio Cannavaro is one of the footballers that have an active life outside football, from starring in movies to publishing book he has done many things in his life, other than playing football or managing a team.

 In 1999 he sponsored the opening of the first Rossopomodoro restaurant outside Naples, in Parma, the city where he was playing football in that year.

In 2002 he starred, together with Vincenzo Montella and Ciro Ferrara, in Vincenzo Salemme's film Volesse il cielo!

In May 2005, together with Ferrara, he founded the Cannavaro-Ferrara Foundation, a charity organization that takes care of poor children in the Naples neighborhoods.

In 2009 he published his autobiography, titled ‘La mia storia - dai vicoli di Napoli al tetto del mondo’ which means “My story - from the alleys of Naples to the roof of the world” in English. Also in the same year, he received the award of the Industrial Union of Naples from the hands of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi at the Teatro San Carlo, along with Gianluigi Aponte, Ambra Vallo and other excellent Neapolitans.

Stay tuned to read more about

Fabio Cannavaro life story

. Did you know that

Fabio Cannavaro religion

is Christianity?

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Fabio Cannavaro Personal Life

Fabio Cannavaro was born on 13 September 1973, to a middle-class family. His father was a banker and her mom was a maid. In his childhood, he was really into street football and was always out in the streets playing with his friends. Cannavaro said in an interview that his parents were worried about his future and always wanted him to focus on his education, however, he knew in his heart that his future is football.

Fabio has an elder sister and a younger brother, her sister Renata was married when she was 15 and is a pharmacist. His younger Paolo is also a retired footballer. The two brothers have worked together two times, once in Parma as players and now in Guangzhou Evergrande as coaching staff. Fabio is the manager of the team and Paolo is his assistant coach.

Family, Children and Relationships

Daniela Arenoso, born on 17 July 1974 in Naples was Fabio Cannavaro’s wife, the couple married each other 17 June 1996, when Fabio was just 23 years old. After leaving together for around 14 years and having three children, the couple divorced in 2010 after several years of a legal trial. However, today they live together. His oldest son Christian was born on 17 July 1998 in Naples and is now playing for Serie A side Benevento as a midfielder. He also has a daughter named Martina who was born in 2001 and works as a model.

His last child with Daniela is Andrea, who was born in Naples in 2004, he is also a footballer. Fabio Cannavaro has also another son with the Mexican actress Beatriz Shantal named Luis Cannavaro.


As one of the most famous Italian footballers of all time, Cannavaro is actively involved in charitable works, especially in his hometown Naples. He actually founded a charity organization named Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara alongside Ciro Ferrara, another Neapolitan and a former teammate in


and also a friend. The foundation’s focus is on helping Neapolitan kids at risk. The Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara also is focused on providing cancer research and treatment equipment and also cancer surgery equipment to a hospital in Naples.

Legal Issues

Fabio Cannavaro, his brother Paolo and his wife Daniela were sentenced to ten months, six months and four months in jail respectively in February 2015 for breaking orders and violating Fabio's home after being seized by the officials in 2009 in the wake of criminal activity and tax fraud case. All three of them have appealed and will have their terms postponed before the full verdict has been handed down.

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Fabio Cannavaro Career Statistics

From starting his professional football in Napoli until retiring in Al-Ahli, Fabio Cannavaro had a great 19 years of playing football, reaching different team and individual honors and breaking many records. In this section of

Fabio Cannavaro biography

, we want to take a look at his career stats, both as a player and a manager.


Cannavaro started his football at Napoli, during his time there between 1992 and 1995, he played a total of 68 matches in all competitions, scoring one goal. He then joined Parma in 1995, and during his 7-year tenure there he played 291 matches for them, scoring 6 goals.

In two seasons he spent at Inter, he appeared at 74 matches in all competitions and scored 3 goals for the club. The next two seasons he was with Juventus, where he managed to score 7 goals in 95 matches.

He has played most matches for Real Madrid after Parma in his career, where during three seasons there he played 118 matches, scoring 1 goal. The 2009-10 season he was back at Juventus, playing 33 matches. Finally, he retired from football at Al-Ahli after making 16 appearances for them and scoring two goals.


Fabio Cannavaro nationality

is Italian and thus he represented the country at the international level, where he managed to play 136 matches and scoring two goals. His first match was in 1997 against Northern Ireland in a friendly match. After failing to progress from the group stage at the 2010 World Cup, Cannavaro announced his retirement from international football.


Fabio Cannavaro’s career as a manager started in 2014 after Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande announced him as their new head coach. During his managerial career, Cannavaro managed 4 different teams including Guangzhou on two spells, Al Nassr, Tianjin Quanjian and Chinese national team.

Since 2014 he has managed his team in 207 matches, winning 57.97 percent of them. His record consists of 120 wins, 43 draws and 44 losses.  Stay tuned to read more about Fabio Cannavaro biography and his honors.

Fabio Cannavaro Honors

During his career, Cannavaro has won many team and individual awards. However, at the club level, his only trophies are La Liga for two times with Real Madrid and UEFA Cup, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana with Parma.

At the international level, he has won the UEFA European Under-21 Championship for two times and 2006 World Cup with Italy.

His most renowned individual honors include FIFA World Player of the Year, Ballon d'Or, Serie A Footballer of the Year and UEFA Team of the Year.

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