Savarese Interview 2

Wednesday, 9 May 2001, 0:00
2 mins read

Another six International call up’s followed and Giovanni netted four more goals. With his career at a crossroads Giovanni made a decision that would in time be the making of the man. He moved to Italy.”In Italy you have to be an amateur unless you are the new Maldini, it’s as simple as that. Playing for amateur teams is all that you can do, these are the rules, you have to be an amateur for three years, it is a long time to wait”

Studying at University was the only way Giovanni could maintain his education and still play football. “After two years I just felt I had had enough, I couldn’t wait any longer to be a professional, so I moved to America in 1990. I was offered a full scholarship at Long Island University where I would study business marketting, I would aslo learn English there. The good thing with America is that whilst at University I would play for their University team. This would keep the national side interested in me too, and I was in the pre-Olympic squad in 1992”

Giovanni stayed at Long Island for four years. In this time he got his degree and netted 50 legue goals in the NCAA college league.”This was an incredible time for me, I was voted the college’s MVP (Most Valuable Player) for the first three years and then the North East Conference league MVP in 1994. I thought I was being honoured for my footballing skills only, but also in 1993 I was awarded the ‘ All American award ‘ competing against basketball, American Football and baseball.

Other awards followed and his University honoured him with ‘ The most outstanding athlete award ‘ something Giovanni cherishes. With his college days finishing during the same year as he was honoured by his adopted country, he signed on to play for the Long Island Roughriders before the introduction of the MLS (Major League Soccer)”This again was a good time for me, in my first season I scored four goals playing at the end of the season only. In the second season I scored thirty one goals for the team, it got me noticed”

The introduction of MLS in the States in 1996 saw Giovanni’s football career hit new heights."I signed for New York Metro Stars for three years, I would play for them in the normal season and then when it closed go back to Venezuela where their season was starting. I was playing football all year round” Venezuela saw the very best of Giovanni because of this arrangement. Playing for New York Metro Stars and then Caracas he became a fixture in the national side again.

More MVP awards were earned in New York , and when you look at the side you begin to realise how valuable a player he had become.” I was playing with Shaun Bartlett, Tony Meola, Branco, Ramos and Roberto Donadoni, big names out there, the awards meant a lot to me ”

Giovanni scored forty two goals in three seasons and at the same time was called up for Venezuela during the 1998 World Cup qualifiers. He netted against Bolivia and then Argentina.

“Playing with Roberto Donadoni in New York was an amazing experience, he made everything so simple, a great player, one of the best I have played with, I learned so much from him and this helped me improve as a player when I played for my country”

In 1997 Giovanni Savarese played for Venezuela in the Pre-Libertados in Mexico.

The Interview Continues here…….

The full Giovanni Savarese interview with pictures is available in Junes edition of Total Football, subscribe at which comes out on Friday.

Thanks to Total Football writer Keith Haynes we get in to the real Giovanni Savarese, read between the lines if you wish, the sad fact is we should make the best of him, because the man from Caracas has only the FAW Cup to go, and then it’s decision time!

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Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.

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