Javier Saviola admits he was “in awe” of Lionel Messi at Barcelona

Javier Saviola is one of the few players to have represented both Barcelona and Real Madrid this century, having enjoyed a long and impressive career at the top level.

Having been a goalscoring sensation as a teenager at River Plate, he joined the Catalan giants in a landmark transfer in 2001, when he was still aged just 19.

Despite the fact that he is five years older than Lionel Messi, the striker has now revealed how he was taken aback by the first time he saw his 14-year-old compatriot during a training session at the club.

“It was in one of my first training sessions at the club, and Charly Rexach told me there was an Argentine kid who I needed to see,” Saviola explained, in quotes carried by Diario Sport.

“That was Messi – I was completely in awe of him when I saw him play.”

Saviola only played briefly with Messi for club and country – during the 2006/07 campaign – while he returned a credible 70 goals in 168 appearances for the Blaugrana.

Saviola also had shorts stints at Sevilla and Malaga during his career, which saw him score an impressive 210 goals in 585 senior appearances at club level alongside 11 goals in 39 international caps for Argentina.

Image via Marca

Tags Javier Saviola Lionel Messi