Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning
captain Fabio Cannavaro believes his country are outsiders to
lift the Euro 2012 trophy and has tipped hometown club Napoli
for success in this season's Champions League.
Cesare Prandelli's Italy have qualified for the Euro finals
in Ukraine and Poland with two games to spare and without
defeat. However Cannavaro, who retired in July, is cautious
given their poor display in last year's World Cup.
"[World and European champions] Spain are of course the
favourites, they have the best team, the best generation, but I
think Holland and Germany also have a chance of winning it," the
former Real Madrid centre-back told Reuters on Thursday.
"Italy? Let's see," he said at the Leaders in Football conference at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium.
Cannavaro started his career at Napoli and believes Walter
Mazzarri's revived side can challenge in all competitions this
season thanks to forwards Ezequiel Lavezzi, Marek Hamsik and
Edison Cavani - along with Fabio's brother Paolo in defence.
"Napoli have started well and have a squad built to fight
right until the end both in the Champions League and Serie A.
Let's hope the season finishes well," said the 38-year-old, now
an ambassador for Al Ahli of Dubai.
Former World Player of the Year Cannavaro quit as a player
at Al Ahli in July because of a recurring knee injury.
Another of his former clubs are Juventus, who like Napoli
are riding high in Serie A after two seasons of woe and are
revelling at their new stadium even though the ground has yet to
be sponsored despite the club budgeting for the revenue.
Cannavaro denied their demotion in the 2006 match-fixing
scandal known as "Calciopoli" was a reason for the stadium not
yet being sponsored.
"Calciopoli now is finished. They have paid the price, they
are starting from zero and trying to do something new. The
stadium is extraordinary so I think even without a sponsor
people can enjoy it," he said.
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