Fabio Cannavaro admits Real Madrid’s 6-2 home defeat to Barcelona in the 2008-09 season was “my worst as a professional footballer”.
Italy’s 2006 World Cup-winning captain spent the following three years at the Santiago Bernabeu, lifting two La Liga titles in his first two seasons, but his final campaign was overshadowed by La Blaugrana’s rise to power under Pep Guardiola – best exhibited by their Clasico demolition.
“This Madrid lack continuity,” he told Cadena SER.
“[Carlo] Ancelotti got along very well with the team and won a Champions League.
“When there is a change of Coach and a new system, it’s not easy to get used to.
“We can only say that [Rafa] Benitez is a good Coach for Madrid at the end of the season, providing he wins trophies.
“We all know the club’ culture and mentality of the fans.
“[On not being called back by Madrid as a Coach], I’ve kept good relationships with players like Marcelo, [Sergio] Ramos and Pepe.
“They grew up with me and I was proud to see them win the Champions League.
“A Coach has to share his experience with the players, and I have a lot of experience.
“My relationship with the players was the main thing that attracted Ancelotti to me as he wanted me to join his backroom team, but the club chose [Zinedine] Zidane.
“I think it was Florentino [Perez] who decided to appoint Zidane and not me.
“The 6-2 defeat [to Barca] was my worst as a professional footballer. After winning two Leagues, everything changed in a year.
“That [Barca] team killed you all over the pitch. After the game, no-one spoke in the dressing room.
“We just tried to forget what happened. That was the moment the Ramon Calderon cycle ended.”