Carlos Tevez: the footballer that should be a legend

Josh Challies

Having saved West Ham from relegation, won the Champions League with Manchester United and the Premier League with Manchester City, Carlos Tevez should have established himself as an English footballing legend.

The Argentine ace made an impression wherever he went in his career, including his time with Juventus following the end of his love affair with the Premier League, but a mixture of poor decisions has left Tevez’s name ignored in many discussions.

First arriving in English football back in 2006, Tevez’s spell in the limelight immediately became a controversy due to a breach of Premier League rules regarding third-party ownership but he made his mark on the field, with his standout moment at Upton Park coming on the final day of the season as he scored the winner against Manchester United- saving the Hammers from relegation.

It was clear that West Ham would struggle to keep hold of Tevez, and his compatriot Javier Mascherano, for the long-term but his exit from the Hammers still left a bitter taste in the mouth of supporters, as he took a case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport- eventually resulting in a transfer to Manchester United that gave West Ham a measly £2million.

It seemed Tevez had found exactly what he needed; a big club, the chance of winning major trophies and a platform to establish himself on the world stage. Manchester United provided the South American with exactly that, with Tevez lifting six trophies during a two-year stay at Old Trafford.

Again, though, transfer issues and controversial decisions wiped away the majority of positive memories regarding Tevez for Manchester United fans as his two-year loan came to a close, with United failing to negotiate a permanent deal and instead seeing Tevez move across town to join arch-rivals Manchester City.

Not one to avoid an immediate controversy at his new side, Manchester City erected a ‘welcome to Manchester’ billboard that displayed the Argentine striker in a sky blue shirt that looked over the main motorway route to Old Trafford.

Tevez was once again handed the opportunity to become a Citizens legend, with his impressive achievements for the club including become the second-fastest player to reach the 50-goal landmark in the club’s history, captaining the side and lifting the Premier League title, as well as an FA Cup.

Remarkably, though, Tevez consistently flirted with an exit during his time with Manchester City – handing in a transfer request in 2010, telling an Argentine chat show he wouldn’t return to the club ‘even on vacation’ the following year before finally sealing a move to Juventus in 2013.

At Juventus, Tevez’s situation was different to previous years as he was one of many stars within the Italian side’s rankings, rather than being the figurehead he was at his previous clubs. This seemed to get the best out of him, though, as he won Player of the Year in his debut season.

The following year Tevez again excelled, netting crucial goals in the club’s march to the Champions League Final and assisting Alvaro Morata for the equaliser in the defeat to Barcelona, in what would turnout to be his last performance for the Old Lady.

In 2015 a dream return to boyhood club Boca Juniors followed for Tevez who, aged 31, had the chance of ending his career on a high with his beloved side- and he did exactly that, achieving his dream of winning the Argentine Primera Division and also securing a double in his first season back with the club.

In true Tevez style, though, things soon turned sour and he was heavily criticised by the media in his second year with the club, before becoming the world’s highest paid footballer following an incredible transfer to the Chinese Super League.

Again, it was a questionable decision for Tevez as it was previously suggested he’d end his career at Boca, where he started. For those following his career though it was hardly surprising, as Tevez never really found home.

With his record and array of trophies for a number of sides, Tevez should certainly be considered a footballing legend. However, his numerous black marks on his career and his seeming inability to end a spell with a side positively means he’ll never be as highly-rated as he deserves to be.

Every fan will have both positive and negative stories concerning Tevez’s spell at their clubs, which means his career will always be tainted and many will wonder what could have happened if he’d given a little more time and though to his transfer choices.

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