|Clubs:||Napoli (1991-95), Parma (1995-2002), Inter Milan (since 2002)|
|International debut:||22/01/1997, Italy-Northern Ireland (2-0)|
|Last international appearance:||30/05/2004, Tunisia-Italy (0-4)|
Appearances : 2 (1998, 2002), 8 matches
Quarter-finals (1998), Second round (2002)
Appearances: 1 (2000), 6 matches, 0 goals
Winner (1999, 2002)
Though he once achieved the not inconsiderable feat of being voted Italy's sexiest man, Fabio Cannavaro's greatest honour is probably his role as captain of the soccer mad nation's football team since Paolo Maldini stepped down in 2002.
Cannavaro had previously been part of a top-class three man defence in the Italy side along with Maldini and Alessandro Nesta, and as the more experienced man was the logical choice to take up the vacant captaincy.
Italy coach Giovanni Trapattoni switched to a 4-4-2 line up in Euro 2004 qualifying and the Cannavaro led backline conceded only four goals in eight matches, putting the Italians amongst the favourites to do well in Portugal.
He played in every match of Italy's Euro 2000 run to the final only to experience the agony of a golden goal defeat to France.
However, he will be long remembered as one of the side that gave Europe a lesson in defending under Dino Zoff's stone wall tactics, above all in holding a marauding Holland team to 0-0 in the semi-final despite playing most of the match with ten men.
After Maldini's international retirement he first captained Italy in a match at Napoli and received a standing ovation on the pitch where he sported the local side's colours between 1991 and 1995.
Before a blockbuster transfer to Inter Milan after the 2002 World Cup he spent seven successful seasons with Parma, winning the Italian cup in 1999 and 2002.
He described winning the UEFA Cup in 1999, where Parma beat Marseille 3-0 in Moscow, as his sweetest footballing moment. As he admitted weeping on leaving 'homey' Parma, perhaps that would count as his saddest one.
His first experience of the World Cup came at Italia 90, though no blame can be attached to him for the semi-final defeat to Argentina. He was merely a ball boy at the Stadio San Paolo along with his fellow Napoli youth team members, who witnessed the club's star Diego Maradona help defeat Italy.
He acquitted himself well at the 1998 World Cup in France when Italy were edged in another penalty shoot out against the hosts in the quarter-finals, with Cannavaro, who had sustained a facial injury, playing in a protective mask during the tournament.
At the 2002 World Cup he was credited with holding the defence together almost singlehandedly after Alessandro Nesta was injured against Croatia. Italy however went out amidst a refereeing controversy losing to co-hosts South Korea in the second round, again cruelly to a golden goal.