Cannavaro expects to retire after World Cup

ROME - Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro said he expected to retire from international football after this year's World Cup, joking most fans thought he was too old now.

The 36-year-old centre back, Italy's record caps holder with 132, led the Azzurri to World Cup success four years ago with commanding displays and was 2006 FIFA world player of the year.

His form has nosedived since and he has struggled in a poor Juventus side this season but Italy coach Marcello Lippi continues to back him.

"Already now people say I'm too old, imagine it in August," Cannavaro told reporters on Wednesday when asked if he would quit the Azzurri after the June 11-July 11 tournament in South Africa.

Cannavaro was speaking after Italy's two-day pre-World Cup training session.

Although the former Real Madrid defender did not totally rule out continuing with Italy, this World Cup was widely expected to be his last while the future of his club career is unclear.

Cannavaro has previously hinted he would have quit Italy after Euro 2008 had he not missed the tournament through injury.

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