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
Pellegrini: David Silva Out Three-Four Weeks    
Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini on Thursday confirmed that playmaker David Silva will miss three-to-four weeks ...
Reus Distances Himself from Bayern Ahead of Der Klassiker    
Germany and Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus on Thursday issued a statement distancing himself from a ...
Neymar to Play in 2016 Olympics     
Neymar will be joining the Brazil squad for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, coach ...
Gerrard Hints at Possible Liverpool Exit     
It's almost unthinkable for Liverpool fans: Could Steven Gerrard really leave the only club he has ...
Report: FA Racking Up Social Media Fines    
Queens Park Rangers defender Rio Ferdinand on Wednesday became the latest Premier League player to be ...
Real's Navas Seeks Legal Action for Costa Rican Spying    
The Associated Press is reporting Thursday that Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas will take legal action ...
Mandzukic: Guardiola 'Didn't Treat Me with Respect'    
In an interview with Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, Mario Mandzukic says he is enjoying playing for ...
Roma's Destro to Consider Future     
Mattia Destro on Wednesday cast doubt around his future after scoring the opening goal in AS ...
Allegri: 'Lack of Maturity' Costs Juve     
Despite hitting the woodwork several times and having much the better play throughout, Juventus lost 1-0 ...
Report: Former President Hoeness Warns Bayern     
German daily Bild reports that former Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness, who is currently in prison ...
>> Section 2 Around the Net Archives