Javier Saviola: I never considered leaving Hellas Verona

Hellas Verona forward Javier Saviola says he has not for one second considered leaving the Serie A club this winter having struggled to make an impact since arriving in August.

Saviola, 33, scored his first goal in Italian football last weekend and claims to be playing in the "most beautiful league" in the world, having previously spent time in Argentina, Spain, France and Greece.

"Tactics are fundamentally important and I think Serie A is the toughest and most beautiful league around," the former Barcelona and Real Madrid forward said. "The games go the full 90 minutes and the result is always in the balance -- nothing can be taken for granted.

"Who would have thought Inter would have lost to Torino? In other leagues, the outcome of games is practically inevitable. Here it's very physical, the defenders are strong and well prepared and, if you've not trained well, you risk making a fool of yourself."

Saviola joined Hellas from Olympiakos in the summer, 13 years after he first could have arrived in Serie A.

"I was about to sign for Roma when I was at River Plate, but then Barcelona came in for me," Saviola said.

"[Now] I wanted to try something new and Serie A was the one league I was lacking. And finally I scored my first goal against Atalanta at the weekend. A few days before my transfer to Hellas, I spoke to Rafa Marquez, a teammate of mine from my Barcelona days. He said: 'Come here -- it's a great atmosphere and city.' I listened to him, and I don't regret it."

Having played for River Plate, Real, Barca, Monaco, Sevilla, Benfica and Malaga before his year in Greece, a move to Verona may seem like a step down in his career, yet Saviola insists he still has ambitions that he hopes to realise in the northern Italy city.

"If we beat Palermo, we can take a big step forwards," he said. "We're better than our current league position. I'm happy in Verona and I would like to stay here. My son Fabricio was born here, so I feel a bit Veronese myself. There was not one moment in which I thought about leaving. I knew my chance would come and I just waited for it, faithfully."