Thursday April 17 2014
Cannavaro: 'Italy can win World Cup'

Fabio Cannavaro feels he is “ready” to become a Coach and hopes Italy can win the World Cup in Brazil.

The former Juventus star lifted the 2006 World Cup as Azzurri captain in Berlin and retired in 2011, but is now working as the assistant manager for Al Ahli.

“I have been acquiring all the requisite coaching and sporting director qualifications over the last few years,” he told The FIFA Weekly.

“Right now I’m coaching in Dubai, but who knows what the future might bring? I frequently get together with former greats of the game for fund-raising matches and what they call Exhibition Games. I particularly enjoy playing for a good cause.

“On the one hand, the long years as a pro took their toll physically. Once you reach a certain age you’re always feeling pain somewhere in your body. In my case an old knee injury flared up and gave me horrendous problems.

“On the other hand, my decision to retire was prompted by a lack of motivation. An unmotivated sportsman can make a real fool of himself, and that would be a shame after a successful career.”

Cannavaro has filled his time by travelling, seeing the world. “The role of Coach and sporting director really suits me now. I sense the drive to put my ideas into practice.

“Will I end up coaching in Italy one day? Definitely. I’m Italian and the privilege of working in my home country would fill me with pride. However, the opportunity to work in a variety of countries, learning new cultures and footballing mentalities, is also very valuable.

“I’m setting myself new targets now. I’d like to take the job of head Coach, for example. I learned from the best Coaches in the world. I want to pass on my expertise. I think I’m ready.”

Cannavaro will forever be remembered as the captain of Italy’s World Cup winning side in 2006, winning the Ballon d’Or as well, but he can’t describe how it felt to lift that trophy.

“It’s impossible! It could even be that I feel it even more strongly now than I did at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

“Now, eight years later, I’m properly conscious of what this World Cup triumph has made out of a group of ordinary players – namely legends.

“My life only changed for the simple reason that we became heroes in people’s eyes. We wrote footballing history. On a personal level I’ve stayed the same.

“You’re representing an entire nation and you’re up against the best players in the world. It takes a huge amount of preparation. A player can’t be thinking the World Cup will just take care of itself. He has to make huge sacrifices, not only physically, but also mentally.

“The World Cup pushes you to the limit. The pressure is enormous. Many players only get one shot at the World Cup in their whole lives. I was lucky enough to contest four World Cups.”

Now Cannavaro hopes a new generation of Azzurri can follow in his footsteps in Brazil.

“Italy are a strong team and Cesare Prandelli is a very good Coach. I hope the lads can bring home the trophy.”

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