He was born September 13, 1973, in Naples, Italy. His mother was a maid, and his father was a bank clerk.
He started his career as a ball boy for Napoli, where he watched his idols Diego Maradona and Ciro Ferrara play. He eventually progressed enough as a player to play alongside some of them.
In 1995, a cash-strapped Napoli traded him to Parma. In his six years there, he won the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia. He also continued to get national team call-ups.
In 2001, he was traded for €23 million to Inter Milan. He spent two years with them, and then did two years at Juventus. With Juventus, he won two consecutive Scudetti in 2005 and 2006. He also won l’Oscar del Calcio: Migliore difensore, the Football Oscar.
After the Calciopoli trials, when Juventus was moved down from Serie A to Serie B, he chose to leave. He did three years at Real Madrid, and won La Liga title.
After three years at Real Madrid, he returned to Juventus. After a disappointing season, he claims to not be returning next year.
He has a charity with Ciro Ferrara, called Fondazione Cannavaro Ferrara, that specializes in the procurement of cancer research equipment and surgery for special cancers at a hospital in Naples.
He is married and has three kids, aged 11, 9, and 6.
UPDATE: According to The Spoiler, “Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro has turned down a one-year extension at Juventus to join UAE club Al-Ahli, revealing the move “realises my dream of living in Dubai and finishing my career playing for one of its clubs”.”