Fabio Cannavaro: I came so close to joining Chelsea

Fabio Cannavaro of Italy holds the World Cup trophy following his team's victory in a penalty shootout at the end of the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Final match between Italy and France at the Olympic Stadium on July 9, 2006 in Berlin, Germany.
(Image credit: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Italian World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro has revealed he could have joined Premier League champions Chelsea at the time off the back of the 2006 tournament which saw Italy lift the trophy. 

After Juventus were relegated at the end of the 2005/06 campaign due to being found guilty in the Calciopoli trial, Cannavaro and many other top players were looking for new clubs. 

The centre-back eventually followed Fabio Capello to Real Madrid where he spent three years in the Spanish capital but has now admitted he could have joined Jose Mourinho in London. 

Fabio Cannavaro

Fabio Cannavaro went to the Bernabeu instead of the Bridge (Image credit: Getty)

“In leaving Juventus after the 2006 World Cup, I was very close to joining Chelsea,” Cannavaro tells FourFourTwo. “I had two options, Real Madrid or Chelsea, and I chose Real Madrid in accordance with the club. 

“I would’ve loved to play for the Blues, and I was fascinated by the Premier League, although it wasn’t yet the league we all admire today. Arsenal and Manchester United were also very popular back then and I would have strived to play for them.” 

Cannavaro was at the peak of his powers at the time and had just led Italy to the World Cup, beating France on penalties in the final in Germany the same summer. 

Chelsea had just won a second successive Premier League title with John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho at the heart of the defence, and Blues fans may wonder what could have been as Manchester United won the league 12 months later if Cannavaro had been added to an already star-studded back line. 

More Chelsea stories

Chelsea transfer news is starting to gather pace.

Having already signed Christopher Nkunku and Nicolas Jackson in attack, the Blues have been linked with a sensational swoop for Kylian Mbappe. The two-time European champions are still trying to offload Romelu Lukaku, though, with the striker thought to favour a move to Juventus.

Meanwhile, Chelsea could bring academy graduate Marc Guehi back to Stamford Bridge – just two years after selling the defender to Crystal Palace.

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