Italian football legend Fabio Cannavaro said he was surprised and deeply moved by his reception from local fans in his three-day visit to Vietnam.

"I was deeply moved by the admiration you have for me," said Cannavaro. "It is a great surprise for me because this is the first time I have come here and because Vietnam and Italy are so far away geographically."

Speaking through an interpreter at a reception with hundreds of Vietnamese fans at the Youth Culture House in HCM City on Jan. 8, the last day in his visit, Cannavaro shared some football tips and talked about his family life.

"Money is important and it can change a person's life but since I began playing football, it is always my passion," he said in answer to a fan's question about football and money.

Cannavaro is one of the best defenders in his generation. He won the World Cup with the Italian team in 2006 and also became the FIFA World Player of the Year that year.

He has played for many famous football clubs, including Juventus and Real Madrid.

Not only is he a talented footballer but Cannavaro's life has been free of scandal, making him a role model for young footballers.

"Many fans think that footballers often have a self-indulgent life with love affairs but it is not true for most footballers. For me, I am a man of family," he said.

Cannavaro came to Vietnam as a football ambassador and to promote Italian football across the country.

On Jan. 7, he held a training session with HCM City's U15 football team at Thong Nhat Stadium. /.