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Cannavaro announces retirement

World Cup-winning former Italy star Fabio Cannavaro has announced his retirement.

Al Ahli deny Cannavaro release

Cannavaro, 37, has been advised by doctors that his knee injury means he will no longer be able to continue his career.

"I'm very sad," he said. "Football is everything for me in my life. It's not a simple thing. Everyone says it has to come, but when it comes, it's a decision you have to face.

"I came back to Dubai to continue training. Unfortunately, the medical examiner didn't permit me to continue."

Cannavaro, who was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 2006 after captaining Italy to World Cup glory, had spent the last year with Dubai-based club Al Ahli after leaving Juventus but missed their final seven games of the season.

He denied reports last month that he was due to retire, but has now confirmed he will be taking on a role as a technical adviser with Al Ahli.

"My knee can no longer cope with playing, but I will be staying here for the next three years in an executive role," he said.

Al Ahli president Abdullah al-Naboodah believes Cannavaro will be valuable in his new role.

"Nineteen years of experience will definitely benefit the club," he said. "Fabio is a World Cup winner and played at the highest level in Europe. All that on his CV will benefit us at Al Alhi."

The centre-back also played for Napoli, Parma, Inter and Real Madrid during his career, as well as making a record 136 appearances for Italy.

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