The Euro Ended Before It Even Began For Fabio Cannavaro

Photo courtesy of Paul Blank,

On Monday, in a training accident in Austria, Fabio Cannavaro, the “Berlin Wall” and the great captain of the Italian National Team, saw his Euro 2008 experience end before it even began.

“Fabio Cannavaro, il capitano azzurro, si è infortunato mettendo male il piede, dopo aver avuto un contatto con Chiellini con l’altro. Per lui grave distorsione alla caviglia sinistra con interessamento del legamento k.o.. L’entità dell’infortunio del difensore del Real Madrid potrà essere valutato non prima di 24-48 ore, ma i primi esami hanno emesso il verdetto più temuto: niente Europeo per il difensore napoletano.”

La diagnosi è micidiale: “lesione ai legamenti della caviglia sinistra”.

“Io sono un ottimista anche in momenti come questi”, ha sussurrato, sottolineando che la botta è stata veramente dura.

“Fabio Cannavaro, the Azzurri captain, was accidentally injured while placing a foot wrongly, after having had contact with Chiellini (Giorgio) and each other. For him a grave distortion on the left ankle with the entire ligament knocked-out/torn (k.o. as in boxing). The extent of the incident of the defender from Real Madrid will not be evaluated before 24 to 48 hours, but the initial examinations have emitted the most feared verdict: no Euro 08 for the Neapolitan defender.”

“The diagnosis is lethal: ‘lesion (tear) to the ligaments of the left ankle.’ ”

“I am an optimist even in times such as these,” he whispered, underlining that the injury was truly very harsh.

Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 02 June 2008.

Impact on Italy

This will be a significant blow to the Azzurri. Their first game will be next Monday, 09 June, versus The Netherlands in Basel. Alessandro Gamberini of ACF Fiorentina has been drafted into the team to take the place of Cannavaro; however, how Mister Donadoni decides to reorganize the Italian defense remains to be seen. Most likely, he will pair Andrea Barzagli with Marco Materazzi in the middle of the back line.

You can’t replace the heart and soul of the Italian team, which in my humble opinion, is Fabio Cannavaro. Whether on the field, in the dressing room, in front of the media, or in a hospital, he is the face, force, and spirit of Italian football.

Comments Made on Tuesday

“Ma ho deciso di restare per aiutare i miei compagni; dare un contributo anche se non giocherò”. Questo infortunio adesso diventa una sfida per il futuro; il Mondiale del 2010 diventa un traguardo; spero in due mesi di tornare a giocare”.

“L’ho confortato; poverino era a pezzi. Ma lui non c’entra. Altrimenti invece di perdere un giocatore ne perdiamo due”.”Gli ho spiegato che sono cose che accadono, che deve guardare avanti. Anzi che alla prima occasione deve anche segnare un gol. E lui sa già a chi dedicarlo”.

“But I have decided to stay (in the Azzurri training camp) to help my teammates; to give a contribution even if I will not play. This accident has become a challenge for the future; the World Cup of 2010 becomes a hurdle; I hope in 2 months to return to play.”

“I comforted him (Giorgio Chiellini); the poor thing was in pieces. But he will go forward. At least instead of losing two players we will lose one. I explained to him that there are things that happen, that you have to look ahead. Therefore, at the first opportunity, you ought to score a goal. And he already knows who to dedicate it to.”

Source: La Gazzetta dello Sport, 03 June 2008.

Italian to English translation by Steve Amoia.

Operation and Comforting Messages

He will be operated on Wednesday in Vienna. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, he has already received messages from Ramon Calderon, patron of Real Madrid, along with Iker Casillas, one of his teammates there who plays for Spain. He was also contacted by Lillian Thuram, a long-time friend and former teammate, who plays at Barcelona and represents France.

Steve Amoia is the author and editor of World Football Commentaries. He writes for Soccerlens and Keeper-Skool.

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