Italy’s World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro has been tipped to become this year’s European Footballer of the Year, according to reports in Spain.
The prestigious Golden Ball award is awarded by France Football magazine.
Spain’s Marca claims that the magazine’s editor had visited Real Madrid’s defender to confirm he had won the award.
Cannavaro said: “Of course I would like to win it. It would be wonderful and very gratifying on a personal level.”
The Italian led his country to victory against France in the World Cup final in Berlin in July, and then completed a move from Juventus to Real Madrid.
The Italian media also reported that he will win the award, with sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport announcing: “Cannavaro, it’s all true.”
And Milan daily Corriere della Sera declared: “Golden Ball to Cannavaro”.
Cannavaro would be the fourth Italian to win the award after Gianni Rivera (1969), Paolo Rossi (1982) and Roberto Baggio (1993).