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Saviola geared up for 'life-or-death' Real ties

Tuesday 16th April 2002

Barcelona star Javier Saviola has revealed he would exchange all his goals for the club for just one against Real Madrid in the forthcoming Champions' League semi-finals.

Both teams know that defeat would haunt them for years and Saviola said on Tuesday: "I would give everything to score against them. These games are going to be a matter of life and death.

"The matches will be very even. People are saying that Real are slight favourites, but we are playing very well and are in very good form. When a team puts together a good run, it builds confidence and we certainly have a lot of that at the moment."

The 20-year-old's recent displays for Barcelona have seen him score four goals in the Catalans' last two outings and earn a call-up to the Argentina squad.

He is also becoming an idol at the Nou Camp after struggling to find his feet when he arrived last summer.

"Sunday was a great night for me," Saviola said. "After scoring two goals against Alaves I received a phone-call to tell me I had been chosen for the national team to play Germany.

"I was absolutely delighted when I was told. I know that this does not mean I will go to the World Cup, but I just want to play well so I I am called up for future games."

Saviola then reflected on the harsh criticism he received after some poor performances in the Balugrana shirt. "I do not feel that I have answered any of the critics because I never listen to what people who do not understand football say anyway," he said.

"But I was delighted with the supporters' reaction during the match when they waved the white hankies and chanted the players' names.

"Normally that happens when things are going badly, to see them doing it as a celebration was fantastic.

"This is only my first season here and maybe in the future I can become an idol of the supporters. But for now I am just happy with scoring goals again."

Saviola also paid tribute to Xavi - whose superb pass set him up for his second goal against Alaves. "We understand each other very well," he said. "He is a great player with a natural instinct to spot players in positions that other players may not even see.

"The pass he made for the goal was incredible. He saw my run and released the ball at the perfect moment. He truly is a great player."

:) :D ;) :tongue:

Spoken like a true Barca striker... this kid is finally getting it! How the hell can anyone pick Caniggia to go to the World Cup over this guy???

1,793 Posts
Saviola MUST go to WC. May be not for the present, but for the future. The guy have to see the atmosphere to get experience.

I`m happy to hear such words about the club from him. Finally we`ve signed the guy who cares.
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