The son of World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro could follow in his father’s footsteps after the 16-year-old joined the youth set-up at Serie A club Lazio.
Andrea Cannavaro signed for the Rome-based club’s under-17 team after playing for Guangzhou Evergrande in China, the team his Ballon d’Or-winning father has managed since 2017.
Also a central defender, Andrea Cannavaro has returned to Italy in order to continue his studies, Lazio said in a statement.
Rome-based sports daily Corriere dello Sport reported that Lazio beat local rivals Roma for the signature of the younger Cannavaro, who has signed a deal that will keep him at the ‘Biancocelesti’ until 2024.
Fabio Cannavaro is a hero in Italy for the way he led the ‘Azzurri’ to triumph at the 2006 World Cup, captaining a team rocked pre-tournament by the infamous ‘calciopoli’ corruption scandal to victory over Zinedine Zidane’s France in the Berlin final.
The defence led by Cannavaro did not concede a single goal from open play in the tournament, which led to the now 47-year-old being named its second-best player after Golden Ball-winner Zidane.
Cannavaro was then named the FIFA World Player of the Year and also won that year’s Ballon d’Or — only the third defender to do so after Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer.
He has the second highest number of caps for Italy, 136, behind Gianluigi Buffon and is also second to Buffon in the number of Italy internationals he played as captain.
Andrea Cannavaro will also be hoping to emulate Daniel Maldini, the son of another iconic Italian defender in Paolo Maldini, who made his Serie A debut for AC Milan in February.
Maldini junior continues a family tradition with Milan that stretches back to his grandfather Cesare.