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Cannavaro quits Italy duty

World Cup winner ready to make international retirement

By Ben Collins.   Last Updated: 25/06/10 1:10pm

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Cannavaro: Bowing out

Cannavaro: Bowing out

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Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has confirmed his retirement from international football after the Azzurri's early World Cup exit.

The 36-year-old defender led Italy to World Cup glory four years ago in Germany but the holders have crashed out in the group stage in South Africa.

Thursday's shock 3-2 defeat by Slovakia saw Italy finish bottom of Group F with just two points following disappointing 1-1 draws against Paraguay and New Zealand.

Cannavaro made his international debut in 1997 and has gone on to become Italy's most-capped player, making 136 appearances for the Azzurri.

The Juventus centre-back is set to move to the United Arab Emirates this summer having signed a two-year deal with Al-Ahli Dubai and feels the time is right to step down from international duty.

Good career

"It's time to go," he said. "I think I've had a good career.

"I've had a lot of good games and a lot of bad games - that's all part of a footballer's career.

"But what we did in 2006 can never be erased."

Cannavaro started his career at Napoli before moving to Parma, Inter Milan and Juventus.

After lifting the World Cup he moved to Spanish giants Real Madrid, where he won two La Liga titles and claimed the Fifa World Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or awards for 2006.

Cannavaro returned to Juve last summer and passed Paolo Maldini's record of 126 caps for Italy in a friendly against Switzerland in August 2009.

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