Grateful Saviola thanks Olympiakos, joins Verona

By Graham Wood

Former Argentina international Javier Saviola has thanked Greek champions Olympiakos for the "beautiful moments" during his season-long stint in Greece as he left the club to join Serie A outfit Verona.

Olympiakos released a statement saying the club had ended the contract of the 32-year-old by mutual consent, allowing him to depart late on the transfer deadline day.

"I would like to thank my teammates for the time we enjoyed together while I was at Olympiakos - a place where the fans show you so much love," Saviola told Olympiakos' website.

"I am grateful to the president and the administration for the fact that I was able to enjoy so many beautiful moments at Olympiakos," added the former Barcelona and Real Madrid forward.

Saviola, who was capped 40 times by his country, played a key role in Olympiakos's title win last term after scoring 12 times in 26 appearances.

But after Olympiakos brought Kostas Mitroglou back to the club on loan from Fulham to add to Paraguay forward Jorge Benitez in the summer, Saviola has been deemed surplus to the team requirements by coach Michel.

The club also lost Greek international central defender Avraam Papadopoulos to Trabzonspor, as well as Malian international midfielder Sambou Yatabare, who was sent on loan to French Ligue 1 side Guingamp.

Olympiakos, however, signed Serbia midfielder Luka Milivojevic on loan from Belgian outfit Anderlecht. [Reuters]