Monday, 27 November 2006

Cannavaro wins the Ballon d'Or

Cannavaro with the Ballon d'Or on the front page of France Football MagazineIn what was probably the worst kept secret in football, Fabio Cannavaro finally travelled to Paris to collect his Ballon d'Or award for European Footballer of the Year. Although Real Madrid president Ramón Calderón and sports director Predrag Mijatovic travelled with him, basking in the reflected glory, it must be noted that the accolade was earned for Cannavaro's work last season for Juventus, and, more importantly, for leading Italy to their fourth World Cup title in the summer.

Not all commentators agree with France Football Magazine's choice of Cannavaro for the award. French legend Michel Platini launched a scathing attack last week: "I have said it before and I repeat: the players who deserve it more are Henry and Ronaldinho," he told Italy's 'La Politica nel Pallone' TV show. "If the prize has to go to a player who won the World Cup, I thought that Buffon deserved it more. But as far as the whole season goes, the strongest players have definitely been Henry and Ronaldinho."

Former Italy national manager, Arrigo Sacchi, also said that he "would have given it to Buffon, but I'm happy for Cannavaro, whom I've also coached. The award is going to a defender and that is recognition for all those Italian defenders who deserved it and never received it."

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