Saviola quits River after unhappy second coming

Published 01/08/2016, 10:55 AM EST
Argentine club River Plate’s soccer player Javier Saviola attends a training session ahead of their Club World Cup final soccer match against Barcelona in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, December 18, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/Files


BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) – Javier Saviola’s second spell at River Plate ended in ignominy when he quit with a record of no goals in six months since returning home in June after 14 years in Europe.

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Second comings can work out well like Carlos Tevez at Boca Juniors but they can also fail as Saviola, capped 39 times by Argentina, admitted.

“After analysing my present situation with the coaching staff, I took the tough decision not to carry on playing at River Plate,” the 34-year-old said.

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“I would have liked a different end to my return to River but sometimes dreams do not come true as one would like,” he said in an open letter to fans.

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He scored 45 goals in 86 appearances after making his first division debut as a precocious 16-year-old in 1998 and moved to Barcelona three years later as a 2001 Under-20 World Cup winner.

Saviola did help River win a third Copa Libertadores in August, although he was generally used as a substitute.

Saviola, who helped Argentina reach the 2006 World Cup quarter-finals, scored 49 goals in 123 league matches for Barcelona and had loan spells at Monaco and Sevilla.

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He also played for Real Madrid, Benfica, Malaga, Olympiakos Piraeus and Verona and is looking for a new foreign move after ruling out playing for any other club in his home country, local media reported.

(Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Ed Osmond)

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Dhruv George

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Dhruv George is a senior Formula One and NASCAR analyst for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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