Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arrivederci Fabio

Fabio Cannavaro testing out his new boots, one for each foot
Fabio has left the building. His brief visit to Phnom Penh ended yesterday morning when he flew to Bangkok. Funny story. He brought his football boots with him on the trip, but didn't realise he'd bought two left boots by mistake and so had to go out and buy a new pair of size 8 Nike boots when he arrived in Phnom Penh. Normally, as a top pro, his kit would've been looked after by a designated kit man; now he's retired he has to look after his own. It's a tough life after football. Of course, he didn't make the trip purely out of the goodness of his own heart; there was a financial incentive to come. Nevertheless, he never gave less than 100% when he was here, signing every autograph that he was asked to sign, stopping and smiling for every click of the camera too. A total professional. Top footballers sometimes have a reputation for being prima donnas but for Fabio Cannavaro, there was never any hint of that, he was on time, immaculately groomed and had time for everyone he came into contact with. He'll be welcomed back anytime he chooses. I know the same can be said in Vietnam too. He left quite a favourable impression in both countries. What did the visit achieve? Hard to evaluate aside from the newspaper coverage in the international and domestic press. It's hoped that someone with his standing in the game, coming here to offer his support for football, will be a positive thumbs up for the sport in Cambodia; certainly I know the Phnom Penh Crown Academy boys got a big lift out of his presence at their training session on Tuesday. I'd say a feel-good factor will be one of the main benefits. A lot of positive press and happy, smiling faces were some of the obvious outcomes. Of course, it may wear off quickly but the fact that he came, met as many people as possible, spent time with the Academy youngsters and the national team squad, is a bonus for those people that met him.



Anonymous Eric said...

Probably not as glorious as Elvis has left the building...

January 12, 2012 at 8:57 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Thank you Eric for your contribution. As always, so succinct!

January 13, 2012 at 11:00 AM  

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