Javier Pedro Saviola is an Argentine international football striker who currently features for Malaga in Spain. Saviola is renowned for his pace and intricate dribbling skills and bears the nickname the **El Conejito **(The Little Rabbit) for his scurrying runs.
Saviola commenced his footballing career at the legendary Argentine club River Plate. He came through the ranks at River and made his debut for the club when he was merely 16. Saviola then went onto establish himself at River Plate and transformed himself into a formidable goalscoring machine.
Saviola scored a staggering 46 goals in just 97 appearances for River Plate from 1998 to 2001 and notched up the 1999 South American Player of the Year award when he was just 18, thereby being stamped with the ‘New Maradona’ tag.
Saviola was transferred to Spanish giants FC Barcelona in the summer of 2001 for a lumpsome amount and settled readily into the first team at Camp Nou. He was a prolific goalscorer for Barca in his first two seasons but thereafter things turned bitter and Saviola fell out with the new regime under president Joan Laporta and with new coach Frank Rijkaard.
He was offloaded on loan to the French side AS Monaca in the summer of 2004 but he failed to impress much in the French Ligue 1 and next season he was loaned to Spanish side Sevilla FC.
Saviola won the UEFA Cup with Sevilla and was recalled to the Barcelona set-up by Frank Rijkaard only to warm the bench. At the end of the 2006-2007, Saviola’ss six year contract with Barcelona curtained to an end and he moved to Barca’ss arch rivals Real Madrid on a free transfer after having scored 49 goals in 123 appearances for the Blaugranas.
After two rather quiet seasons at Madrid during which he won La Liga once, Saviola moved to Benfica. Between 2009 and 2012 the Argentine once again regained his form and established himself as a top goalscorer in Europe, winning the Portuguese league in 2009-10 and the League Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
In the summer of 2012 Malaga signed Saviola, who has been influential for the Spanish club this season.
Saviola was a regular member of the Argentine national team and played for his nation at the 2006 Germany World Cup. He also won the FIFA U-20 World Cup with Argentina in 2001. He retired from the international duty in December 2009 after scoring 11 goals in 40 matches.
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