Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
'El Conejo' Makes Nou Camp Return
The Guardian, September 25th, 2006 3:46PM

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

You'd be forgiven for forgetting that Javier Saviola is still a Barcelona player, but last night, during Barca's thrilling 1-1 draw at home to Valencia, Saviola made his first official appearance for the Catalan club in 854 days. That's after 28 months and two loan spells, one to Monaco in France in 2004 and the other to Sevilla in Spain in 2005. In his absence, Barcelona won two league titles and the Champions League last year. Most thought the diminutive Argentine, who was nicknamed "El Conejo" (the Rabbit), would leave in the offseason, but Saviola had no takers this year, so he's had to stay and fight for his place this season. As The Guardian's Sid Lowe points out, Saviola's warm welcome at the Nou Camp Sunday night felt as if he had never left. There were just six minutes left in the hard-fought match, and Saviola was being brought on to replace fellow Argentine Leo Messi, arguably the game's most outstanding player, but instead of booing Coach Frank Rijkaard's decision, Barcelona's fans gave Saviola a rousing ovation as his name was announced. By any measure, Saviola has been a disappointment for Barcelona: he cost the club $42 million in transfer fees plus bonuses when he arrived from River Plate in 2001, $3.8 million per year for five seasons, and a whopping $7.6 million for his agent. Despite the fact that management never thought the player was good enough for its team (he failed to score more than 17 goals in each of the three seasons he actually finished with the Catalan team), the fans never lost their appreciation for "El Conejo." And while management and Rijkaard all told the player he should look for another club this season, Saviola dug his little heels in, turning down 14 offers to stay with Barcelona. Last night, then, was a mark of perseverance more than anything else. And while management might not appreciate that, the fans do, anyhow. Read the original story...


No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Section 2 Around the Net
The case for more female coaches in youth soccer    
Nicole Farley, who coaches at Southern California's Laguna United SC and Dana High School, says "I ...
Nasri to Miss a Month Following Surgery     
Manchester City midfielder Samir Nasri will miss a month after having groin surgery over the weekend. ...
Herrera Out as Man United Injury Crisis Worsens    
Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera will be out for "weeks" with a fractured rib in yet ...
Giroud Signs Gunners Extension    
Goal.com reports that injured Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud has signed a two-year contract extension with the ...
Defender Helped Finance Barca Move    
Barcelona defender Jeremy Mathieu on Monday confirmed that he paid three million euros out of his ...
Man United Mulls Midweek Friendlies Abroad    
The BBC reports that Manchester United is thinking about playing potentially lucrative midweek friendlies abroad since ...
Cole 'Never Expected' to Play Against Lampard in UCL    
AS Roma defender Ashley Cole said he was surprised to come up against former Chelsea teammate ...
Luis Suarez Ban Upheld in FIFA 15     
Barcelona striker Luis Suarez is not currently playable in the "career mode" of FIFA 15, the ...
Simeone: Juve a 'Final'    
It may only be Matchday 2 of the UEFA Champions League, but Diego Simeone is already ...
Report: Pardew's Job Safe-for Now     
Newcastle United is currently 19th in the Premier League table and winless in six games so ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives