International

Cannavaro urges Italy to summon spirit of 2006 to beat coronavirus

2020-03-31 18:09
Fabio Cannavaro.(Getty Images)

Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro wrote a heartfelt open letter on Tuesday to his homeland, saying seeing the country ravaged by coronavirus "is filling me with anxiety and pain".

"I cannot describe how horrible it feels to see Italy suffer like this, to see so many lives lost each day," he wrote in "A Letter to Italy" published on The Players' Tribune website.

"My heart goes out to all the people who have been affected, and especially to those who have lost someone they are close to."

It came as Italy marked a minute's silence and flew flags at half mast to mourn the 11 591 people who have died in the country from the coronavirus pandemic.

The 46-year-old Cannavaro is an Italian football legend, lifting the World Cup as skipper in 2006 and making 136 appearances for his country.

The former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Juventus defender is now coach of Guangzhou Evergrande in China, where the virus emerged in December before spreading across the globe.

Cannavaro, who steered Guangzhou to the Chinese Super League title last season, said that Italians, himself included, had been guilty of underestimating the health emergency.

But now was the time for them all to pull together, said the Naples-born Cannavaro, urging his compatriots to summon the "spirit of unbreakable unity" which Italy displayed to become world champions.

"People often ask me why Italy won that World Cup," he wrote.

"We didn't win it because we were lucky. We won it because we had the best team - and because we believed we would win it."

Cannavaro, recently out of quarantine in China, hopes that "a vaccine will become available as soon as possible, so that we can put an end to this nightmare once and for all.

"Until then, we just have to dig in," added the former central defender, who won the Ballon d'Or in 2006. He said the victorious 2006 team had started a fundraiser for Italy's overwhelmed hospitals.

"We must all remember that this battle is a team effort, and that we need everyone to join in," wrote Cannavaro.

"Sure, it is true that none of us is Superman. But when we stand together, we can achieve anything.

"Stay strong, my brothers and sisters."

Read more on:    coronavirus  |  lockdown  |  soccer

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2019/20 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs
Vote

Assuming the 2019/20 Absa Premiership season can't be concluded prior to the 31 July deadline decreed by FIFA, what would be the fairest way to settle matters - all bias aside?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.