Javier Saviola: Wikis


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Javier Saviola
El Conejo.jpg
At his official presentation as a Benfica player at the Estádio da Luz
Personal information
Full name Javier Pedro Saviola Fernández
Date of birth 11 December 1981 (1981-12-11) (age 28)
Place of birth Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Benfica
Number 30
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–2001 River Plate 86 (44)
2001–2007 Barcelona 123 (49)
2004–2005 Monaco (loan) 29 (7)
2005–2006 Sevilla (loan) 29 (9)
2007–2009 Real Madrid 17 (4)
2009– Benfica 22 (11)
National team
2001 Argentina U20 7 (11)
2001– Argentina 40 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 March 2010.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 10:21, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

Javier Pedro Saviola Fernández (born 11 December 1981) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays as a striker for Benfica in the Portuguese Liga.

Known for his speed and ability to score from almost any position, he is also an Argentine international, and was named, as the youngest player, to Pelé's FIFA 100 list of the 125 greatest living footballers. Saviola also holds Spanish nationality.


Club career

River Plate

Nicknamed El Conejo (The Rabbit), Saviola made his debut for River Plate at the age of 16, and went on to be a prolific goalscorer for the club. He helped River to the 1999 Apertura and 2000 Clausura championships, and earned the 1999 South American Footballer of the Year award. Still only 18, he gained a reputation as a phenomenol prospect.


In 2001, aged 19, Saviola moved abroad to play for FC Barcelona in a £15 million transfer.[1] He obtained Spanish citizenship shortly after, thereby not being restricted by the Spanish league maximum on the number of non-European Union citizens allowed in each club. Under coach Louis van Gaal, he scored 17 goals in his first season, finishing third best scorer in the league.

Saviola with Barcelona

His second year at the club did not start well, as he only scored two goals in the first half of the season. When van Gaal was fired and Radomir Antić became the new Barcelona manager, Saviola went on to score 11 goals in the latter half of the campaign. At the start of the following season, Frank Rijkaard was appointed as new manager, and Saviola scored 14 goals in the league alone, but was deemed surplus at the club, as was longtime offensive partner Patrick Kluivert.

Saviola was sent on loan the following year, moving to AS Monaco in the French first division championship in the summer 2004. As he did not fit into Rijkaard's plans, Saviola was again loaned out in the summer of 2005, this time to Spanish club Sevilla FC, in order to replace Júlio Baptista, on the move to Real Madrid. At Sevilla, Saviola won his first title in Europe, when the club won the 2006 UEFA Cup — he also scored nine times in the league, good enough for fifth.

Saviola returned to Barcelona for the 2006–07 season, playing in 18 league games (six as a starter) and scoring five goals. He benefited greatly from injuries to teammates, most notably to Samuel Eto'o, and added five in as much games in that season's domestic cup, notably a hat-trick against Deportivo Alavés (3–2 win at home, 5–2 aggregate).[2]

Real Madrid

On 10 July 2007, Real Madrid signed Saviola after his Barcelona contract expired, on a three-year deal.[3] Although on a financially lucrative contract, he endured a difficult time at Real. He was mainly restricted to cup matches and sporadic appearances (mainly as a substitute) in the league and the Champions League. The arrival of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar limited his opportunities even more, and Saviola finished his Real Madrid spell with five goals in 28 overall appearances.


On 26 June 2009, Benfica and Real Madrid agreed on a 5 million deal that would see Saviola play in Portugal for the next three years, with an option for one more; a €30 million clause was added. Saviola scored his first goal for the club on a penalty in a friendly match against Sion and, on 16 July 2009, Saviola scored twice to put his team to the Guadiana tournament trophy finals. On 22 October, Saviola scored a further two goals for Benfica, guiding them to a 5–0 victory over Everton. On 26 October, he scored another two over Nacional. On 5 November, Saviola scored one goal in a 2–0 win over Everton in the UEFA Europa League. Saviola scored another goal in the Europa League on 2 December to help Benfica beat BATE 2–1. On 12 December, Saviola scored on a chip shot against Académica de Coimbra, where Benfica won 4–0. He then scored again against freshly-promoted Olhanense in a 2–2 draw. Already a fan favourite, on 20 December, he scored a single winning goal against Benfica's main rival FC Porto in a 1–0 victory.

For the month of December, Saviola was named the Portuguese Liga's Player of the Month.

On 3 January 2010, he scored another winning goal against Nacional, but the single winning goal trend had not finished yet – on 9 January, he led Benfica to a 1–0 win over Rio Ave, scoring in the 46 minute. On 17 January, Saviola scored the first goal when Benfica beat Marítimo 5–0 in the league. On 3 February, Saviola set up a goal and scored one in a 3–0 win over União de Leira. Saviola scored his 19th goal overall against Paços de Ferreira in a 3–1 win.

International career

Saviola starred in the 2001 edition of the World Youth Cup, held in Argentina. He was top scorer and was voted player of the tournament, as the national team won the competition. With 11 goals in seven games, he became the record goal-scorer in World Youth Cups history. His vintage performance earned himself many offers from European clubs but, surprisingly, he lost his place in the Argentina national football team squad for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in favour of veterane Claudio Caniggia.

Two years later, Saviola played in the 2004 Olympic Games and won the Olympic gold medal. Under coach Marcelo Bielsa, Saviola was given few playing opportunities for Argentina, but after Bielsa's resignation in 2004, new coach José Pekerman, who also coached the player at youth level, gave him more playing time with the A's.

Saviola was called up to represent Argentina at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Luciano Figueroa and winger Luciano Galletti were also in contention for a place on the roster, but Saviola's excellent form for Sevilla secured his place in the squad. He made his presence felt at the tournament, as he scored a goal against Côte d'Ivoire in Argentina's opening game, and made two assists in the 6–0 victory against Serbia and Montenegro.

Club statistics

Club League Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
River Plate Primera División 1998–99 20 7 - -
1999–00 31 17 - -
2000–01 35 20 - -
Total 86 44 - -
Barcelona La Liga 2001–02 32 17 1 0 - 11 4 44 21
2002–03 36 13 1 0 - 14 7 51 20
2003–04 33 14 5 2 - 7 3 45 19
Total 101 44 7 2 - 32 14 140 60
Monaco Ligue 1 2004–05 30 8 0 0 1 0 7 4 37 12
Total 30 8 0 0 1 0 7 4 37 12
Sevilla La Liga 2005–06 30 9 0 0 - 13 5 43 14
Total 30 9 0 0 - 13 5 43 14
Barcelona La Liga 2006–07 18 5 5 5 - 1 0 24 10
Total 18 5 5 5 - 1 0 24 10
Real Madrid La Liga 2007–08 9 3 6 0 - 2 0 17 3
2008–09 7 1 2 1 - 2 0 11 2
Total 16 4 8 1 - 4 0 28 5
Benfica Portuguese Liga 2009–10 22 11 2 1 3 1 7 4 34 17
Total 22 11 2 1 3 1 7 4 34 17
Career total 303 125 22 9 2 1 64 29 353 160
Last Update: 2 January 2010

Honours and awards


River Plate
Real Madrid





External links

Preceded by
Pablo Couñago
FIFA U-20 World Cup Golden Shoe
Succeeded by
Eddie Johnson

Simple English

Javier Saviola
File:Javier Saviola
Personal information
Full name Javier Pedro Saviola
Date of birth 11 December 1981 (1981-12-11) (age 29)
Place of birth    Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current club Benfica
Number 30
Senior clubs
Years Club
River Plate
Monaco (loan)
Sevilla (loan)
Real Madrid
National team
2000-2007 Argentina

Javier Saviola (born 11 December 1981) is an Argentine football player. He plays for Benfica.

Club career statistics

Club Performance League CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
ArgentinaLeague Cup South AmericaTotal
1998/99River PlatePrimera División207-207
SpainLeague Copa del Rey EuropeTotal
2001/02BarcelonaLa Liga3217101144421
FranceLeague Coupe de France EuropeTotal
2004/05MonacoLigue 129700743611
SpainLeague Copa del Rey EuropeTotal
2005/06SevillaLa Liga30900126426
2006/07BarcelonaLa Liga18555102410
2007/08Real MadridLa Liga936020173
PortugalLeague Cup of Portugal EuropeTotal
2009/10BenficaPortuguese Liga
CountryArgentina 8644-8644
Spain 16361208512023489
France 29700743611
Portugal 00000000
Total 2781122085824356144

International career statistics


Argentina national team


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