Fabio Cannavaro reveals he almost joined Chelsea after 2006 World Cup

Tom Gott
Cannavaro nearly ended up at Chelsea
Cannavaro nearly ended up at Chelsea / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

Italy legend Fabio Cannavaro has revealed that he came close to joining Chelsea after the 2006 World Cup, only to move to Real Madrid instead.

Cannavaro, who joined Juventus from Inter in 2004, captained Italy to glory in the 2006 showpiece before leaving the Bianconeri in the aftermath of the Calciopoli scandal, which saw Juventus relegated to Serie B over match-fixing allegations.

32 at the time, there were plenty of sides in for Cannavaro when it became clear he wanted to leave Juventus. Real ultimately won the €7m race for his signature, but Chelsea put up a good fight.

"I was close to signing [for Chelsea] when I was at Juventus," Cannavaro told The Telegraph. "A friend of mine called me and asked me if I would go to Chelsea.

"I knew they were interested but in the end I moved to Madrid, and of course Fabio Capello was there."

Cannavaro went on to spend three years in Spain. He made 118 appearances for Real and tasted La Liga glory in both 2006/07 and 2007/08, before leaving on a free transfer and returning for another stint with Juventus.

As for Chelsea, they brought in defenders Ashley Cole and Khalid Boulahrouz that summer, as well as adding Michael Ballack on a free transfer and striking deals for Andriy Shevchenko, Salomon Kalou and John Obi Mikel.

The Blues won an FA Cup and League Cup double under Jose Mourinho, but came second in the Premier League behind Manchester United.