Fabio Cannavaro could finally be set to grace Major League Soccer in North America. The retired Italian defender rejected a move to the league in 2010 whilst he was still an active player but if reports are true then the 40-year old has been in talks to become manager of the Philadelphia Union four years on from his infamous snubbing.
Greg Seltzer of MLSSoccer.com reported the news originally on his blog No Short Corners saying, “I have learned that Philly Union are talking with Al-Ahly assistant manager Fabio Cannavaro — yes, that Fabio Cannavaro — for their head coach job. And I am told that talks are heading in a positive direction.”
Kevin Kinkead - the Philly beat writer for Soccerly and all round sports guy on CBS3 - later tweeted, “I’m hearing that the Union have indeed been in talks with Fabio Cannavaro for the head coaching job,” adding, “As far as Cannavaro, he’s one of numerous foreign coaches that I’m told the Union have been speaking with about the head coaching job.”
Cannavaro is a well-known and much loved figure all across world football. The Italian became only the third ever defender to win the coveted FIFA World Player of the Year award back in 2006, German's Franz Beckenbauer and Matthias Sammer receiving the honour before him.
2006 was an incredible year for Cannavaro. To go along with the aforementioned honour he won the World Cup, Ballon d'Or, World Cup Silver Ball award, Team of the World Cup, Serie A footballer of the Year, Italian footballer of the year, UEFA Team of the Year and FIFPro team of the year. A haul that even the likes of Pele and Maradona would look on in appreciation at.
The MLS is a whole different kettle of fish compared to international club football. The salary cap, designated player rules, squad registration rules and the SuperDraft mean that it isn't easy for European managers to come and take over all aspects of a club like they would be used to.
If Cannavaro were to come in then he would need to surround himself with MLS veterans who know the ins and outs of the system and to guide him through the new surroundings. But the move would be a coup for the Union, and would instantly bring with it international fans and media attention.