cannavaro: the traitor is back

Cannavaro's contract with Madrid end next month, and he has now signed a one-year deal with Juve, the club he left in 2006 in the wake of the 'calciopoli' scandal. His move angered many fans and when his possible return to the club was first mooted it received mixed reactions from Juve fans, some of whom have not forgiven him for deserting them in 2006.

Even so, the player is looking forward to making his return to Turin 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 Italy's World Cup-winning captain. "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 sceptics through hard work, professionalism and the passion with which I will tackle this new adventure."

Cannavaro won the title in both his previous seasons at Juventus but the club was stripped of those for their role in the calciopoli match-fixing scandal. The centre-back was born in Naples and played for hometown club Napoli for three seasons before joining Parma in 1995, with whom he won the UEFA Cup and two Italian Cups over a seven-year period. He left to join Inter Milan in 2002 but after only two seasons moved on to Juve.

Upon joining Real Madrid in 2006 he helped the club win back-to-back La Liga titles. He has been a winner both domestically and internationally as well as on a personal level and that is what convinced Juve sports director Alessio Secco to bring him back. "Fabio is a World Cup winner, a Ballon d'Or winner and a great man in the changing rooms," he said. "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."The Serie A club said Tuesday the 35-year-old defender, who left for Real Madrid in 2006, signed a one-year contract to rejoin the Turin side on July 1.

Cannavaro, the 2006 world player of the year, angered Juve fans when he left for Madrid after the Italian club was demoted in a match-fixing scandal. "I am happy to be back in Turin and to have the opportunity to again wear the black-and-white jersey," Cannavaro said on the club's Web site. "I'm sorry that among some of the fans there still prevails rancor about appreciating the glorious seasons that we lived together," he said.

Cannavaro pledged to win over "even the most skeptical among them through my work, professionalism and passion with which I'll face this new adventure." Juve said that in 2006 it was "forced to let him go to deal with urgent financial needs." The club said it was sure that Cannavaro's presence "will make Juventus more competitive."

Cannavaro's return was announced a day after Juve fired coach Claudio Ranieri. The club has gone winless in its last seven games and is only one point clear of Fiorentina in the race for third place, with two games remaining. Ciro Ferrara, a former Juve defender, was put in charge for the rest of the season.


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