Cannavaro completes move to Real Madrid | india | Hindustan Times
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Cannavaro completes move to Real Madrid

india Updated: Jul 25, 2006 19:35 IST
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Fabio Cannavaro completed his move from Juventus to Real Madrid on Tuesday, 16 days after leading Italy to its fourth World Cup title.

Cannavaro signed a three-year contract before being presented to about one thousand cheering fans at Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

"It's a great honor to be here. I'm really enthusiastic about having joined one of the best clubs in Europe and the world," Cannavaro said. "To come here at the age of 32 is a bit incredible. I hope to win lots of titles with Real Madrid."

The defender then changed out of his suit into Madrid's No. 5 shirt, previously worn by Zinedine Zidane. The Italian was voted the World Cup's second-best player behind Zidane, who has now retired.

Cannavaro, accompanied in his move by midfielder Emerson for a total fee estimated at euro20 million (US$ 25.3 million), left Juventus after it was demoted to Serie B in the Italian match-fixing scandal.

He has also played for Napoli, Parma and Inter Milan. But it was with Juventus that Cannavaro won his first Italian league titles in 2005 and 2006, although the club has been stripped of those honors.

"Juventus wouldn't have considered my transfer if it had continued in Serie A, but given the situation it has allowed me to continue playing at the top level," he said.

Cannavaro also said his transfer was influenced by Madrid's appointment of his coach at Juventus, Fabio Capello, who departed the Italian club shortly before its punishment was announced.

"Capello knows Cannavaro very well and Cannavaro knows him very well," Cannavaro said.

Cannavaro and Emerson are Madrid's first signings since Ramon Calderon won the club's presidency earlier this month. Calderon said on Tuesday that he hopes the arrival of the experienced pair will help the team end a three-year drought without a trophy.

"We are presenting a real No. 1, who has the ability to lead the champion team all Madrid supporters are hoping for," Calderon said. "His career is an excellent example for all our young players."

Cannavaro, who made his 100th international appearance in the World Cup final against France, passed a routine medical Monday after which club doctor Alfonso del Corral described him as "a bull."

Madrid kicks off its Spanish league campaign on August 26 or 27 with a home game against Villarreal.