It was two decades ago today that the Argentinian joined the club for which he would go on to score 72 goals
It was 20 years ago today that Javier Pedro Saviola joined FC Barcelona from River Plate. He would play for the club for four seasons, scoring 72 goals in 172 appearances.
Having starred for Argentina at the U20 World Cup, he was one of the most talking-about rising stars of the era, and continued a tradition of great Argentines at Barça. He was the second of seven since the turn of the century, including the club’s very latest acquisition, Sergio Agüero.
‘The Rabbit’ was a thrilling player to watch. With the number seven on his back, he scored relentlessly in his first three seasons in blaugrana, netting 21 times in his first season and being named the best South American in La Liga.
In his second season, 2003/04, he was not a favourite pick of coach Louis Van Gaal, but when Radomir Antic replaced the Dutchman, Saviola became a regular started again, and scored 11 goals in the league and seven more in Europe.
The following season under Frank Rijkaard, he scored 19 goals and went to the Athens 2004 Olympics, where Argentina came back with gold.