, he of the short height, bushy eyebrows and tattooed torso, is popping over to Phnom Penh for three days in a little over a week to bring his Italian charm and panache to promoting Cambodian football, and himself of course. Fabio is no ordinary ex-pro footballer, he happens to have a pretty impressive cv that includes lifting the World Cup in 2006 as captain of the winning Italian team, as well as getting the nod over the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldinho to collect the FIFA World Player of the Year trophy in that same year. Now 38, but with a youthful visage that belies his age, the Italian, described by some as the sexiest man in a pair of football shorts, will be in town for two nights, 8 and 9 January, during which he'll be in high demand. It's expected that he'll don his playing kit for a coaching session with Cambodia's U-21 team on the Olympic Stadium pitch at sometime on 8 January, alongwith a host of television and media photocalls no doubt, personal appearances (no doubt in the high-class fashion boutiques), sponsor's events, a gala dinner perhaps, generally spreading goodwill and his winning smile to all and sundry. In his playing days, he revelled in the bright lights of Parma, Juventus, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, won the European Player of the Year award, a bagful of domestic league and cup titles before finally calling it a day last year due to a persistent knee problem. Certainly not one of the tallest defenders around, his desire to win, his anticipation and his single-mindedness were his key attributes that made him one of the very best defenders on the planet in the last 20 years. He's certainly the biggest name from world football to ever grace these shores and his imminent arrival is already creating quite a buzz.
Labels: Fabio Cannavaro