Javier Saviola is known as the youngest player chosen by Pele on the FIFA 100 list and one of the talented footballers to play both in Barcelona and Real Madrid. In this article, we take a look at Javier Saviola biography.
Javier Saviola, born on 11 December 1981 in Belgrano (Buenos Aires), is an Argentine retired international football player who played as a striker for Argentina's national team and many clubs. He started his professional career with River Plate, and won the league twice, and was named the best player in Argentina and South America in 1999, before joining FC Barcelona.
Following several successful but title-free seasons, he went on loan to AS Monaco and then to Sevilla. Saviola won the 2005-2006 UEFA Cup in Andalusia. He subsequently signed for Real Madrid, with whom he won La Liga in 2007-08. At Benfica, he won a league championship and three League Cups. In 2012, his passion for Spain led him to sign for Malaga. He then played two years at Olympiakós where he won two league titles and then a year with Hellas Verona before moving back to his parent club River Plate in 2015.
In 2001, Saviola made a name for himself at the U-20 World Cup, winning the Adidas Golden Ball for best player and the Golden Shoe for top scorer. He then turned his talents to the senior team and participated in the 2004 Copa America, finishing runners-up alongside the Albiceleste, and went on to win the gold medal at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
Having been a finalist in the 2005 Confederations Cup, he made his final appearances for the national team during the 2006 World Cup. Saviola was nicknamed El Conejo (The Rabbit) or El Conejito (The Little Rabbit) at an early age because of his height (1.68m), speed, and rodent-like teeth.
Now that we know him better, in this section of
Javier Saviola biography
, we will share some general information about him such as
Javier Saviola nationality
to let you know him even more.
Javier Saviola Bio
Full Name: Javier Pedro Saviola Fernández
Nickname: El Conejo
Profession: Professional Footballer
Javier Saviola Physical Stats
Weight: 70 Kg
Height: 1.68 m
Eye Color: Amber
Hair Color: Black
Javier Saviola Football Information
Jersey Number: 9
Professional Debut: 1998
Javier Saviola Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 11 December 1981
Birth Place: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
In this section of
Javier Saviola biography
stay tuned as we want to share some information about
Javier Saviola childhood
Javier Saviola was born on 11 December 1981 in the capital city of Buenos Aires. His childhood was spent in the Belgrano district, which is one of the most affluent areas of the city. Just like many of his friends, Saviola began to play with a ball at an early age, and from primary school he played for several clubs before joining the youth team of CA Liebherr Plate at the age of ten.
Although Diego Maradona's Argentina won the World Cup for the second time in Mexico in 1986, the five-year-old Saviola has no memory of Maradona's influence on him, and his idol is Ariel Ortega.
Saviola's goal-scoring ability and ingenuity were noticed from the moment he arrived at the Liebherr club for try-outs, and the club provided a good environment in which to watch him develop. In 1995, when he was 14 years old, he started to get a feel for the game and his standing at the club grew.
Seven years later, in 1997, at the age of 16, Saviola was promoted to the first team after being recruited by Ramon Diaz, and he played his debut game in the Primera División on 18 October 1998, coming on as a second-half substitute in a match against CA Himnasia i Esgrima de Jujuy.
The Pablo Aimar and Saviola duo dominated Argentinian football from 1998 to 2001, winning the Apertura in 1999 and the Clausura the following year. Saviola scored 55 goals in three seasons.
He was soon a prolific goalscorer for the club and was a major contributor to the 1999/2000 Apertura and Clausura titles. Meanwhile, he was voted South American Player of the Year in 1999. Barely 18 years old, this young player was already considered the greatest hope of Argentine football.
In this section of
Javier Saviola biography
stay tuned as we want to share some information about his FC Barcelona career.
FC Barcelona was particularly keen on Saviola, and the two clubs agreed on a fee of 4.3 billion pesetas, or approximately 15 million pounds at the time afterBarcelona
had been in the market for 18 months. At first, River Plate did not want to let Saviola go and was not happy with the fee offered, resulting in a difficult negotiation. Barcelona's brave negotiations, Saviola's strong will, and the pleas of his father, who was suffering from cancer and wanted to stay inSpain
, settled the case.
During the 2001/02 La Liga season, Saviola scored 17 goals, second-best in the team, forming a trio known as the tridente with then Barcelona ace Patrick Kleifert and the charismatic Rivaldo. Just before the start of the 2002-03 La Liga season, Rivaldo left Barcelona. The team suffered a 3-0 defeat away toReal Betis
on the fourth day of the season, two successive defeats and four draws by 2-2 scores, and for a time slipped to 12th in the table.
Despite scoring his first hat-trick since joining Barça and reaching 100 professional goals, Saviola ended the season with 13 goals in 36 games, and the team finished sixth in the league. In the UEFA Champions League, however, they set a new record for consecutive victories in the competition with 11 consecutive wins from the first qualifying round, as the team was placed in a tie with last year's runners-up Bayer Leverkusen. Despite losing in the quarter-finals toJuventus FC
, Saviola showed his strength in front of goal and scored a number of goals.
Frank Rijkaard took over as manager for the 2003-04 La Liga season, and Ronaldinho joined the club as number 10. Saviola had a difficult time finding the right players for the team, with the midfield system changing from a working group to a five-man midfield.
After the Christmas break, the team settled into a top three in 2004, with Ronaldinho and Luiz Garcia in the wings and Saviola in the middle. Saviola won the battle with Kluivert for a place in the starting line-up.
For the 2004-05 season, Joan Laporta, who took over the presidency last season, tried to break away from the players he had brought in under Joan Gaspar, and the squad changed considerably. The arrival of Samuel Eto'o and Henrik Larsson left Saviola out of Rijkaard's plans and he was loaned out toAS Monaco
in the hope of a return to Barcelona, before joining Sevilla FC at the end of the 2005/06 season.
In the 2005/06 season, after finishing his contract with Monaco, Saviola moved to Sevilla FC on loan, where he helped the club, which had been in mid-table for many years, to move up the table and win the UEFA Cup.
He returned to Barcelona, where Samuel Eto'o, who had scored more than 30 goals a season for two seasons in a row, had cemented his place in the starting line-up and was still not on the radar of coach Rijkaard. The club's top brass was keen for him to move to another club. But Saviola's desire to stay at Barça was so strong that he chose to stay.
The 2006/07 La Liga season saw Eto'o and Lionel Messi suffer lengthy injury lay-offs, which gave him a chance to make his mark at the start of the season. His form then deteriorated due to injuries, especially in the UEFAChampions League
, and once Eto'o and Lionel Messi returned to the squad he once again found himself out of action.
Another factor in Saviola's downfall was the arrival of Eidur Gudjonsson that year. In May 2007 he was offered a contract with Barcelona that lasted until the end of the season, but in May 2007 Barça reduced the terms of his current deal significantly and Saviola felt he had lost his place in the team, so on 18 June, he decided to leave. Nevertheless, he was still one of the most popular Barcelona players of the season, with many newspaper polls in favor of Saviola.
In this section of Javier Saviola biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his career at Santiago Bernabeu.
Javier Saviola signed forReal Madrid
in the summer of 2007 under German coach Bernd Schuster. The 25-year-old Saviola signed a four-season contract with a salary of €2.5 million net per season, a million less than he earned each year at Barcelona.
Although he had limited playing time (six games, three of which were starts) during the first six months, faced with competition from Ruud van Nistelrooy and Raúl, the Argentinian striker was unwilling to leave Real Madrid in January 2008. Speaking to the club's website, he stated that he wanted to earn his place on the pitch: "If the situation did not change, then I would rethink my condition. But that is not the case at the moment.”
A few weeks later, the Argentine striker twisted his ankle late in the first half in a clash with his partner Guti in the second leg of the Copa del Rey at Santiago Bernabeu. He suffered a ligament injury in his left knee that kept him out of action for several weeks.
In late January 2009, Real Madrid's Argentine striker played very little despite Bernd Schuster's replacement by Juande Ramos as manager, and he considered his situation "intolerable" and decided to leave the club, he declared in an interview with Marca newspaper.
"I'm going through a very hard time because, despite my efforts in every training session, I'm not getting any reward in terms of playing minutes," The 27-year-old said. The Argentine striker wasn't up to the level of the club's first-choice players, according to Ramos. Saviola, whose annual salary was around €2.5 million, said he had tried to leave the club during the winter break.
Following very little playing time in the Madrid capital, Saviola was finally transferred toBenfica
Lisbon on 26 June 2009 for three years and a transfer fee of five million euros. In January 2012, he extended his contract by one year (until June 2013).
Having signed for Benfica Lisbon, the club hoped to benefit from the experience of its two former Argentina internationals, Pablo Aimar and Saviola, who, ten years on, reconstituted the fearsome duo they formed at River Plate. Saviola joined his former team-mate who arrived a year earlier.
In addition to their experience, Benfica was counting on the good understanding between these two technically gifted players, who were the highest-paid at the Portuguese champions. It's a huge opportunity to play alongside Saviola," said Aimar. "I don't know why, but when I have the ball at my feet, Javier is the first one I see."
During the 2009-2010 season, Javier Saviola formed a complementary duo with Óscar Cardozo. Although the Paraguayan international imposed his physicality (1.93m) and powerful left-footed shot, the Argentinian 'rabbit' was always on the lookout for opportunities to take advantage of his agility and dribbling skills.
Saviola was the only player in the team who had the chance to play in the second half of the season. Saviola scored the only goal in the Clássico againstFC Porto
in December 2009. The Argentinian striker scored eleven goals and provided four assists as the Lisbon club triumphed in the league.
Benfica Lisbon won their fourth League Cup in a row on 14 April 2012, Saviola's third. Saviola scored one of his team's two goals in a 2-1 win over Gil Vicente. Benfica Lisbon announced the departure of Javier Saviola in August 2012 after the termination of the Argentine's contract.
Javier Saviola, just released by Benfica, signed a one-year contract withMálaga
on 31 August 2012, which qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Champions League. In his first match, in the Champions League on 18 September 2012, he scored againstZenit St. Petersburg
(3-0 win). Saviola scored in the 75th minute of the Liga BBVA match against Valencia CF on 24 November 2012, giving the team a 2-0 lead (4-0 win). On 16 February 2013, Saviola scored a goal against Athletic Bilbao that gave Málaga a 1-0 win.
Javier Saviola signed a two-year contract with Olympiacos on 24 July 2013, when he was released from his contract at Malaga. The 31-year-old Argentina international arrived from Málaga, where he scored eight goals in 27 appearances during the 2012-32 season. He helped the Greek club reach the last 16 of the Champions League in December 2013, scoring twice (and missing a penalty) againstAnderlecht
in a 3-1 victory.
After scoring 14 goals in 34 games in all competitions for Olympiacos, Javier Saviola made his Italian debut in the 2014-2015 season. The Argentinian striker signed a new contract with Hellas Verona on 1 September 2014. During his tenure at Verona, Saviola managed to score only two goals in 16 matches he played in Italian Serie A and Coppa Italia.
As a free agent player since his departure from Hellas Verona, Javier Saviola signed for River Plate in June 2015. Now the 33-year-old striker was back with his parent club, who were preparing to play in the Copa Libertadores semi-finals in July. At the time of the signing, he said: 'I can't wait to start training, I think it was the right time to come back. Hopefully, I can feel as loved as when I left."
Saviola started his first game at the Estadio Monumental and was given a standing ovation by the Millonarios fans. Although he played 14 games, Saviola was unable to score and make a difference. He terminated his contract in January 2016 with his beloved club.
He announced the end of his career in the Spanish magazine Marca Plus on 3 April 2016, saying: "I have realized that there is nothing left for me to do in football and I am proud of my career." In this section of Javier Saviola biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his Argentina national team career, stay tuned.
At the age of 18, on 16 August 2000, Javier Saviola made his first appearance forArgentina
in a 1-1 draw with Paraguay. He was the second youngest player to make his debut for Argentina at 18 years and nine days, second only to Diego Maradona (eight days younger).
Saviola played in the 2001 Under-20World Cup
in Argentina. He scored all three of Argentina's goals against Philippe Mexès and Gaël Givet's France in the quarter-finals in Buenos Aires on 1 July 2001 (3-1). He became the tournament's top scorer and best player, while his side went on to win the tournament. He also became the highest scorer in the history of the tournament with eleven goals in just seven games. "It was one of the best experiences of my life, no doubt about it," he said in 2015.
In the 2004 Olympic Games, Saviola won the gold medal with the Argentine team. He did not have much opportunity to play for his country under Marcelo Bielsa, but the arrival of new coach José Pekerman in October 2005 changed that situation somewhat, as he gave him more playing time.
Coach José Pekerman selected Saviola to play in the 2006 World Cup. As Argentina inflicted a terrible 6-0 defeat on Serbia, his forward pairing worked to perfection. Javier Saviola and Hernán Crespo repeated their good start against Côte d'Ivoire, scoring one goal apiece.
Saviola scored the winning goal against France at the Stade de France on 7 February 2007, bringing his total number of goals for Argentina to 11. He was not selected by Alfio Basile to play in the Copa America 2007 in June.
Despite not having been selected since 2007, he officially announced the end of his national team career on 5 December 2009, aged just 27. He declared that he felt that his career as an Argentine international was coming to an end and wanted to concentrate on his club Benfica. He played a total of 39 matches for his country and scored 11 goals.
In this section of Javier Saviola biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his playing style.
During his playing days, Saviola was known as an offensive midfielder, a fantasy player, and a highly prolific striker. He was a talented footballer, with excellent dribbling skills, very fast and agile.
At the early stages of his career, many football fans and critics considered him as the greatest young talent in Argentine football. At the time, many pundits were comparing him to the great Diego Maradona, however, he never managed to even reach Maradona’s level mainly in the Argentina national team. Some critics claim that his lack of fighting mentality was one of the reasons for this, as he resigned from the Argentina national team very early.
Javier Saviola didn’t have a signature goal celebration during his career and showed many different goal celebrations during his playing days. However, one of the goal celebrations that we saw him perform more often, especially while he was a Barcelona player was when he pulled his shirt while running to the fans, showing his abs.
After retiring from his active football career, Javier Saviola reached an agreement in February 2018 with Encamp, a futsal club from the Andorran town of the same name, where the player established himself with his wife and two children after retiring. Saviola was instrumental in winning two consecutive Andorran championships, also making his debut in the Champions League.
In this section of Javier Saviola biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some info about
Javier Saviola life story
Javier Saviola religion
It was in 2009 when Saviola was running out of contract with Real Madrid, a club with which he barely played minutes in two seasons. While traveling to Argentina, he met a girl in a club and fell in love with her: her name was Romanela Amato... and she was only 17 years old!
They soon started a relationship and Romanela traveled with Saviola to Europe. Later the couple married each other and together they are the parents of Fabricio and Julieta. The family is now living in Andorra.
As one of the starts players of the 2000s, Javier Saviola is famous amongst football fans in South America and Europe. Saviola is one of those names in football that we often see him doing many charity works, namely, he always participates in charity football matches and helps raise funds for philanthropy projects.
At the time of writing this Javier Saviola biography article, there are no reports of any legal disputes or issues regarding the Argentinian football player on media.
In this section of Javier Saviola biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.
Since starting his career with River Plate in 1998 to the day he decided to hang up his boots at the very same club in 2015, he played a total of 585 matches for the Argentinian club and many other European clubs including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Benfica, Malaga, Verona, Olympiacos, Monaco, and Sevilla, scoring 210 goals.
During a short international career between 2000 and 2007, Javier Saviola managed to represent his country on 39 occasions and scored 11 goals, including one against Ivory Coast in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and a hat trick against Ecuador in the 2004 Copa América.
On the club level, Saviola has won many awards and titles with many clubs. The most notable of them include Argentine Primera División, Copa Libertadores and Suruga Bank Championship with River Plate, UEFA Cup with Sevilla,La Liga
with Real Madrid, Primeira Liga with Benfica and Super League Greece with Olympiacos.
With Argentina, Javier Saviola has won the FIFA 2001 U-20 World Cup and 2004 Summer Olympic Games and was runner ups at 2004 Copa América and 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup.
He has also had many personal awards and titles such as South American Footballer of the Year, Player of the Year of Argentina, FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Shoe and Ball, FIFA 100, and Portuguese Golden Ball, among others.