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Fabio Cannavaro: “Madrid is a complicated team for defenders”

The Italian defender speaks on current Real Madrid affairs

Juventus v Real Madrid - UEFA Champions League Group H Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Former Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro, who is currently at the beginning stages of a managerial career, spoke to MARCA about his coaching journey, philosophies, and Real Madrid’s current state of affairs.

Cannavaro also spoke about transfers, Carlo Ancelotti, Eder Militao, David Alaba, and more.

“He is doing a spectacular job in a year of transition,” Cannavaro said. “There was a bit of fear that some changes and absences would take their toll, but Carletto is the perfect coach for a team like Madrid, he knows how to manage the dressing room and the players.”

Cannavaro was then asked, naturally, about Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland as Real Madrid’s transfer targets.

“What Madrid needs most now is time,” the Italian defender said. “Very important parts of Real Madrid’s genes like Cristiano, Varane, Ramos, Zidane have left. It is difficult to look for replacements and it is not only to sign Mbappé or Haaland, but to build a team.”

It was interesting to see Cannavaro’s perspective about what it’s like to be a defender in Real Madrid, as well as the roles of Alaba, Militao:

“Alaba was used to coming from a team like Bayern,” Cannavaro said. “He was already in an offensive team, which defended very high. He is versatile, has a good punch, leadership. He was a sure signing because you signed a ‘guarantee’.

“Militao is a great player. Madrid is a complicated team for defenders. Thy do not stand out because the team’s balance and the momentum of the stadium often forces you to have to run 50 meters back. You always have to go to the top to cover a lot of field and it is a style that needs strong, fast and concentrated people.”

Finally, Cannavaro spoke about his role in mentoring Ramos, as well as his surprise that the Spaniard left Real Madrid.

“Sergio is a captain, the player in the finals and the one who has made the difference in the Champions League,” Cannavaro said of Ramos. “He has the Madrid mentality and his departure was a surprise. The truth is that I do not like to see him with another shirt that is not the Real Madrid one.

“Sergio didn’t much, really,” Cannavaro said of his mentoring role to him. “Because he is one of those predestined players like Maldini. He is a player who has always been good. His success as captain has made me happy.”