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Barca Turncoat Swaps One Bench for Another
Goal.com, December 18th, 2007 5PM

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Barcelona fans are far from understanding when one of their former players returns to the Nou Camp wearing the white of Real Madrid. The culprit this year is Javier Saviola, a man who saw little action in his final years under Frank Rijkaard and has seen comparatively few minutes so far this season under Real's Bernd Schuster. Despite repeatedly pledging that he would not swap Barcelona for the Spanish capital, Saviola decided to do so anyway -- the theory being that he'd receive more opportunities to shine at the Bernabeu.

Of course, it hasn't turned out that way. Four months after the move, the man affectionately known as "The Rabbit" in Argentina, is in the same situation he found himself in at the Nou Camp: on the bench. And while Saviola's supporters would say he's unfortunate, Barca fans will have little sympathy for him when Real Madrid visits the Catalonian capital on Sunday night.

The return to form of Real captain Raul has had a lot to do with Saviola's relegation to the bench. Ruud van Nistelrooy also continues to score regularly, and Robinho, often playing like a third forward, has been in sparkling form this season. Meanwhile, Saviola continues to rot on the bench, having played just 242 minutes (less than three games) this season. And it's far from certain that he'll make it on the field at all this Sunday.

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