Cannavaro makes controversial return to Juventus

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The Independent Football

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

The Serie A club said in a statement today that the 35-year-old centre back, 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 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.

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