Carlos Tevez has returned to Boca Juniors after earning over £32 million whilst playing for Shanghai Shenua. His time in China is the latest in the long list of controversies surrounding Tevez.
Tevez didn’t make a great first impression in China being dropped after just 9 months at the club as Shanghai coach Wu Jingui claimed the Argentine striker was “Overweight.” Whereas Tevez said in an interview that the Chinese league was 50 years behind the top leagues “Their football is very different. The fans treat it very differently as well. And I don’t think they are going to get to the same heights, not even in 50 years.” If the standard is as low as Tevez makes out then his return of four goals in a year certainly raises some questions. Tevez spent his entire career chasing a paycheck showing no loyalty to any club, once he was made the highest paid player ever his work rate fell off massively.
The forward has been one of the most talked about footballers of the past decade. Beginning with his transfer to West Ham in 2006 where the world was introduced to the idea of third party ownership. Tevez moved to East London after refusing to play for Corinthians, a move that he would pull multiple times in his career in the following years. Tevez signed for West Ham whilst being 65% owned by Just Sport Ltd. West Ham did have rights to register him however any transfer fee they would have received for him would have gone to the third party.
Unfortunately for West Ham and Tevez the transfer was not as above board as it seemed and West Ham faced a £5.5 million fine due to the transfer breaching Premier League rules. Further issues arose however, when Tevez scored the winning goal against Manchester United on the last day of the season to keep West Ham up and relegate Sheffield United. Due to the fact Tevez shouldn’t have been allowed to play in the fixture Sheffield United applied to be reinstated into the Premier League as they felt their relegation was unjust. As a result The hammers had to pay £20 million to The Yorkshire club as an out of court settlement. Sheffield United fans to this day harbour hard feelings towards Tevez with #BlameTevez being tweeted at every possible occasion by Blades fans.
A move to Manchester United on a two season long loan was the start of a two year quiet spell for Carlos. He had a successful spell in Manchester winning the Premier League and the Champions League during his time at Old Trafford. Everything was set up for Tevez to be a cult hero at United with the fans begging Ferguson to sign him on a permanent basis for the red devils. However what was to follow made him the most hated man in football for the red half of Manchester.
Sir Alex Ferguson was willing to pay the £25 million needed to bring Tevez into Old Trafford on a permanent basis on a five-year-deal. Tevez didn’t accept that offer though and made the cardinal sin of swapping the red shirt of Manchester United for the blue shirt of Manchester City. Joining Manchester City under their new oil rich owners. Tevez claimed that he didn’t feel wanted by Manchester United saying. “I do not feel wanted. I feel bad over my situation, I do, but it’s very, very difficult to stay any longer. I guess what I’m saying is goodbye.”
He started out at Man City how he’d finished at Man United scoring 23 goals in 35 league games however his relationship with his new club would soon deteriorate. In a Champions League game against Bayern Munich Tevez refused to come on as a sub after manager Roberto Mancini told him to warm up. This led to Tevez being completely ostracised from the squad, heading back to Argentina for five months, being pictured playing golf weekly during this time. His golfing antics led to him caddying for professional golfer Andres Romero in The Open Championships. Romero finished dead last. Eventually Tevez rebuilt bridges with Mancini and marked his return to the squad with a hat trick against Norwich, which he celebrated with a tongue in cheek golf swing gesture.
It is easy to forget that Carlos Tevez is only 33 years old. Rejoining Boca Juniors at the age of 30 seemed to spell the end of his career at the top level. as he dropped standard massively going from one of the best leagues in the world with Juventus in Serie A to the Argentine league. But Tevez’ found himself on the move again in January 2017 becoming the highest paid player in history earning a reported £634,000 a week.
Moving back to Boca is seemingly one of the few honourable things Tevez has done in his career, after lining his pockets with millions of pounds in China he will try to carry his boyhood club to silverware again. Tevez will not be remembered as one of the most talented footballers of his generation but as a headline grabber who was completely driven by money.