Player profile

Abel Xavier

Birthdate: 30 November 1972
Birthplace: Nampula, Mozambique
Nationality: Portugal
Other clubs: Estrela Amadora (1987-1993), Benfica (1993-95), Bari (1995-96), Real Oviedo (1996-98), PSV Eindhoven (1998-99), Everton (1999-2002), Galatasaray (loan 2003), Hannover 96 (2004), AS Roma (2005), Middlesbrough (2005-07), LA Galaxy (2007-08)
Bought from: Everton
Signed for LFC: £750,000, 30.01.2002
International caps: Portugal 20/2 - 2002
Liverpool debut: 09.02.2002
Last appearance: 04.12.2002
Debut goal: 09.02.2002
Last goal: 09.04.2002
Contract expiry: 02.02.2004
Win ratio: 57.14% W: 12 D: 6 L: 3
Games/goals ratio: 10.5
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 5 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 14 / 1
Total LFC games/goals: 21 / 2

Player profile

Xavier has had as colourful a career as his hair suggests. He has played in seven countries; Portugal, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, England, Turkey and the USA. His international career has been anything but usual as well. He played no less than 21 times for the Under-21s before making his bow with the senior team at twenty years of age. He played three more internationals in 1992-1993 but his fifth came five years later. He got to the semi-finals of Euro 2000 with Portugal but deep into extra-time he handled the ball in the penalty area in the game against France and Zidane scored the deciding penalty. Xavier went ballistic and his remonstrations to the referee got him a six months suspension from international football. 

Nick Barmby crossed the great divide at Stanley Park in 2001 and Xavier became the second player in recent history to join Liverpool from Everton. Xavier made a decent start. He didn't score in 49 games for the Blues but it took him only 16 minutes to score on his debut for Liverpool at Ipswich. He became the seventy-fifth player in Liverpool's history to score on his debut but he was the first defender to do so since Alec Lindsay in 1969. Xavier enjoyed a good run in the side that Phil Thompson was managing in Houllier's absence and kept his place once Houllier returned. He was also in the starting line-up at the beginning of the 2002/03 season but then he dropped out of the first-team picture. Xavier was loaned out to Galatasaray in Turkey in January and Houllier stated emphatically he was not to return.

Xavier failed to guarantee a contract in Turkey, but in January 2004 he got himself a permanent move to Hannover 96 where his fitness was questioned and told to leave after only a three month's stay. AS Roma was next to try him out in January 2005 but he didn't impress and only played three games in the Seria A. Xavier returned to English football with Middlesbrough in August 2005. After failing a drugs test after the UEFA Cup tie against Greek club Xanthi on 29 September 2005 he was out of the game for 14 months. He had tested positive for an anabolic steroid. Xavier was still under contract at Boro and made 20 appearances in the 2005/06 season. Xavier's next stop was the USA where he played one year alongside David Beckham for Los Angeles Galaxy from 2007 - 2008. On 22 December 2009 Xavier announced his retirement from professional football. He subsequently converted to Islam and changed his name to Faisal Xavier. He said: 'It's an emotional goodbye and I hope to participate in something very satisfying in a new stage of my life. In moments of grief, I have found comfort in Islam. Slowly, I learned a religion that professes peace, equality, freedom and hope. These are foundations with which I identify.'"

Appearances per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals14015121
2001-2002 10005015
2002-2003 401016

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

TotalOpponent
3Ipswich Town
2Blackburn Rovers
2Newcastle United
2Galatasaray
1Leverkusen
1Chelsea
1Everton
1Arsenal
1Fulham
1Tottenham
1Barcelona
1Roma
1Southampton
1Middlesbrough
1Sunderland
1Aston Villa
Total Started/substitutions
20 Started
2 On the bench
1 Substitute
5 Substituted

Goals per season

SeasonLeagueFALCEuropeOtherTotal
Totals100102
2001-2002 100102
2002-2003 000000

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalStarted/substitutions
2Started
0Substitute
TotalCompetition
1Champions League
1Premier League
TotalGoal minute period
01-15
116-30 minutes
131-45 minutes
046-60
061-75
076-90
091-120
TotalOpen play/Penalty
2Open play
0Penalty

Wartime Appearances / Goals

SeasonAppearancesGoals
No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

#DateAgainstStadiumCompetition
109.02.2002Ipswich TownPortman RoadLeague

Milestone Goals

#MinuteDateAgainstStadiumCompetition
11609.02.2002Ipswich TownPortman RoadLeague

Related Articles

Abel Xavier converts to Islam and quits football at 37

The Portugal star now wants to go by the name of Faisal Xavier and will embark on humanitarian projects after failing to find a club.More

Related Quotes

The player was in the squad the following season

SeasonShirt #Position
2001-2002 3 Defender
2002-2003 3 Defender
* Note, Since the 1993-94 season players have been allocated a fixed number.

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