Interview with  former Sassuolo player, now Guangzhou technical collaborator

At the end of 2017 Paolo Cannavaro put an end to his career as a player and now is fully committed to a new adventure as a coach.

Former Sassuolo Calcio defender in the last four and a half years has been able to take advantage of the services offered by Mapei Sport Research Center, just like any other black-and-green player. He flew to China and is ready to transmit what he learned in the field and in Olgiate Olona (VA) as a technical collaborator of Guangzhou Evergrande, in the staff led by his elder brother Fabio.

«In Guangzhou I find myself very well, it is a metropolis in many aspects of the West. The players are generous guys, who compared to the athletes of our country have nothing to envy as to the desire to sacrifice, work and group. Clearly they can grow a lot on a technical and tactical level» says the defender from Naples, who in the past also wore the jerseys of Naples, Parma and Verona.

«The day I left Mapei Stadium, I met the people in charge of Mapei Sport, Dr. Claudio Pecci and Ermanno Rampinini. They tried to thank me, but I quickly stopped them by telling them that I had to be grateful for having worked with them, as well as with mister Di Francesco, Bucchi and Iachini. Thanks to their knowledge and indications I have been able to optimize my performances in a delicate period for a player, if I have reached 36 years old at high levels it is because I could count on a structure that is a guarantee for players, coaches and all the environment. It offers the possibility to always know how the athlete is performing and what he can do to improve, a chance that is not for everyone».

How has football changed during your career?

«Much. When I started kicking the ball, physical work was almost optional, but in the last few years I found myself physically changing as I worked. In my career finale I struggled more in training, but I suffered much less during the game. Man body is a perfect machine, methodologies and technologies can help him to be ready for great challenges. Football will still grow a lot if it opens up to scientific news».

How will you transfer the experiences as a player in your new role?

«Having metabolized for four months this step has mentally prepared me. I hold close the privilege that few colleagues have had in their careers: I could choose to finish playing football and immediately start a new adventure that I wanted to tackle. Currently I do not miss the played football, but I miss very much the family in Sassuolo. In the future if I had to play the role of first coach, and I hope that will happen, at my side there will certainly be Mapei Sport. In any team and corner of the world I will find myself. In my experience I have had only positive results. Today knowing the condition of our players through scientific data and not just sensations is a real luxury».


Credits: Photo Vignoli