Napoli stopper Paolo Cannavaro deserves a place in the Italian national squad, says Antonio Benarrivo.
The 43-year-old knows Cannavaro well having played alongside him – as well as brother Fabio Cannavaro – while at Parma.
“Paolo Cannavaro is a great athlete,” the 1994 Italian World Cup player told Radio CRC on Wednesday afternoon.
“He’s also a great man and not only because of the surname that he carries.
“Paolo has managed to break into the first team of his hometown team at a club where it isn’t easy to play your football – especially because of who his brother is.
“Paolo has demonstrated that he is a great player and someone who also deserves the Italian national side.”
Benarrivo’s comments come just a few days after Cannavaro’s agent criticised Cesare Prandelli for again omitting him from the latest Azzurri squad.
The Napoli captain, brother of 2006 World Cup winner Fabio, is an uncapped 30-year-old.
Italy face America in a friendly at Marassi this evening.