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By ESPN Staff
May 19, 2009

Cannavaro seals Juve return despite fans' anger

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro will return to Juventus from Real Madrid on July 1 despite widespread supporter anger over the move.

The Serie A club, who are also interested in signing Werder Bremen playmaker Diego, said in a statement on Tuesday that 35-year-old centre back Cannavaro, soon out of contract at Real, had signed a one-year deal.

Juve fans were upset by Cannavaro leaving for Real in 2006 when they were demoted for match-fixing, while other top players such as Alessandro Del Piero and Gianluigi Buffon stuck with the club for their season in the second tier.

A small group of fans have protested at recent matches against Cannavaro's return after club bosses admitted they were in talks with the 2006 European and World Player of the Year.

"I am sure I will be able to convince even the most sceptical fans thanks to my hard work, professionalism and passion with which I will approach this new adventure," the World Cup winner said.

Cannavaro won two league titles in his two years at Juve, but they were both revoked in the match-fixing affair.

"Fabio is a world champion, a Ballon d'Or winner and a great man in the dressing room," Juve sporting director Alessio Secco said in a bid to calm supporter unrest.

"During the summer of 2006 the club had to sell him for urgent economic reasons."

The Turin club, who sacked coach Claudio Ranieri on Monday, are also in the process of signing Brazilian playmaker Diego from Werder Bremen.

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