Javier Saviola (born December 11, 1981 in Buenos Aires,
Argentina) is an Argentine football player.
He made his debut for Argentine side River Plate at the age of
16, and went on to be a prolific goalscorer and develop a
reputation as a phenomenal prospect.
Saviola starred in the 2001 edition of the World Youth Cup, held
in (and won by) Argentina. He was top scorer and was voted
player of the tournament. That summer, he moved on to FC
Barcelona where he had two irregular seasons, as coaches (Louis
Van Gaal and later Frank Rijkaard) were not impressed with his
abilities, and did not allow Saviola to become a staple of the
In the summer of 2004, Saviola was transferred, on loan, to AS
Monaco FC of the French league. As Rijkaard indicated no
interest, Saviola was again transferred on loan in the summer of
2005, this time to Sevilla FC, to replace Julio Baptista who was
transferred to Real Madrid.
Saviola played in the 2004 Olympic Games and won the Olympic
Gold Medal with the Argentine squad.
Under coach Marcelo Bielsa, Saviola had few playing
opportunities for Argentina, but after Bielsa's resignation in
2004, new coach José Pekerman has given Saviola more play.
For World Cup 2006, Saviola's place in the offensive line is not
secure, as Hernán Crespo and Lionel Messi are poised to be the
opening duo, with Luciano Figueroa, Luciano Galletti and maybe
Carlos Tévez and Julio Cruz in contention for a place on the