The Italian Football Federation have confirmed that captain Fabio Cannavaro will miss Euro 2008 with an ankle injury.
The 34-year-old defender twisted his ankle in training today following a collision with team-mate Giorgi Chiellini, and underwent lengthy treatment on the pitch before being carried off on a stretcher and taken to hospital.
Extensive tests have since revealed the Real Madrid man has torn ankle ligaments and will play no part in the Azzurri’s European campaign.
A statement on the Federation’s official website, www.figc.it, said: “The news we feared was confirmed in Baden late on Monday evening. Fabio Cannavaro will say goodbye to our European adventure, before it has even begun.
“The captain has suffered torn ligaments, which happened the moment his foot made contact with the ground. His ankle twisted awkwardly.”
The statement also confirmed Fiorentina defender Alessandro Gamberini has been called up as a replacement.
Cannavaro will hold a press conference tomorrow alongside national coach Roberto Donadoni, who will be ruing the absence of one of his most influential players.
Cannavaro was a key member of Italy’s World Cup-winning side two years ago, and was named FIFA World Player of the Year for his performances in Germany.
Italy will face Holland in their European opener next Monday, before further Group C matches against Romania and France.