Esnaider returns to Argentina

Juan Esnaider has cut short his loan spell with FC Porto to join Club Atlético River Plate.

Argentinan striker Juan Esnaider is returning to South America in the hope of giving his career a lift.

'Going with sadness'
The 28-year-old, who is still under contract with Juventus FC, has cut short his loan with FC Porto in Portugal and accepted a move to Club Atlético River Plate, subject to a medical. "I am going with sadness for not having given anything to a club [Porto] where I was treated very well," he said.

World Cup hope
Esnaider, who has been loaned until the end of July with a view to a permanent move, is unlikely to make the national squad for this summer’s FIFA World Cup finals but the switch will give him more chance to impress Argentina coach Marcelo Bielsa. He did not play at either USA 94 or France 98.

Injury problems
His time in Europe has not always been happy, not least because of hamstring and achilles tendon problems in recent seasons. He first left Argentina in 1990 and spent more than two seasons with Real Madrid CF before joining Spanish rivals Real Zaragoza where he enjoyed great success, scoring 29 goals in two years.

Scoring touch found
He returned to Madrid the following year but struggled to make an impact and was soon on the move again, this time to city rivals Club Atlético de Madrid. At Atlético, Esnaider found his scoring touch once more, scoring 16 goals in 35 games. He then hit 13 goals the following campaign for RCD Espanyol, a feat that convinced Juventus to sign him up.

Chances limited
However injury problems limited his chances with the Serie A club and he went back to Zaragoza on loan last season where he found the net eleven times in 17 matches. Not surprisingly he had high hopes on joining Porto, only to end up playing just three matches.

Time to move
"I was unlucky," Esnaider said of his time at Porto. "I was not fully fit at the beginning of the championship and when I felt much better, the manager thought otherwise, which does not mean that I was right. I decided the best thing was for me to look for another club."