Cannavaro may miss Munich clash after training injury

February 27, 2007

MUNICH, March 6 (Reuters) - Fabio Cannavaro may be forced to miss Real Madrid's Champions League match against Bayern Munich on Wednesday after aggravating an injury during training.

The Italian defender was forced out of Real's eve-of-match session at the Allianz Arena because of a thigh muscle problem.

Real hold a 3-2 lead after the first leg of the first knockout round tie and the loss of Cannavaro would be another blow to the Spanish side, who will definitely be without David Beckham and Jose Antonio Reyes because of injury.

Cannavaro captained Italy to victory at the World Cup in Germany last year and Real coach Fabio Capello had been hoping for the centre-back to recapture his form from the tournament on his return to the country.

'Cannavaro played a great World Cup here and I'd love for him to have a great game again on Wednesday,' Capello said at his news conference before the training session.

Cannavaro had said his team are certain to be knocked out of the Champions League if they limit themselves to defending their first-leg advantage at Bayern Munich.

'We have to score a goal against them,' the Italy captain told sports daily Marca on Tuesday. 'If we sit back we are dead. Instead we've got to go for that goal and I wouldn't rule out the chance of us winning the match.'

Real roared into a 3-1 halftime lead against Bayern in the first leg at the Bernabeu, but a late strike from Dutch midfielder Mark van Bommel threw the tie wide open once again.

The nine-times European champions need only a draw to progress to the quarter-finals, but their record in Munich is poor having lost seven of their previous eight encounters there and drawn just one.

But Cannavaro, who led Italy to triumph in the World Cup in Germany last year, believes the Spaniards can come away with a victory.

'Why can't we win in Munich? We have already shown that we are a team that wins a lot of games away from home,' he said.

'It is in games like this when you see the true personality of the team. If we try and wait, let the clock run down and keep the score at 0-0 then we will go out. We have to have a winning mentality, be brave and go out there to win.'

Real, who eliminated Bayern on their way to winning the Champions League in both 2000 and 2002, will be without former England captain David Beckham and Spain winger Jose Antonio Reyes for Wednesday's match.

Both players will be sidelined for around a month after straining knee ligaments in Sunday's 1-1 draw at home to Getafe.