On the Spot: Carlos Tevez

Every week at The Center Circle, we are highlighting a different player in a feature we call “On the Spot”. We’ll take a look at superstars, underrated gems, aging veterans, and young unknowns who should be known. We’ll peruse their club and international careers, taking note of their teams, statistics, and highlight reels. We’ll illuminate their strengths and weaknesses and comment on their personalities and reputations. It will be some fun. If there is anyone you want to see “On the Spot”, feel free to comment below.

Carlos Tevez

Love him, or hate him, Carlos Tevez is one of the best strikers in the game. After a tumultuous spell in England, the Argentinian forward has now established himself in the Italian league, and next week, he will get the chance to play the role of a giant-beater against Real Madrid.

South American Upbringing

Boca Juniors' Carlos Tevez

Before he was a household name in the Premier League, a young Carlos Tevez was plying his trade at one of Argentina’s biggest clubs, Boca Juniors. Other players to don the famous blue jersey of the Argentine giants include Diego Maradona, Fernando Gago and Juan Román Riquelme. Tevez officially joined this elite fraternity in 2001. At 16 years old, the young forward made his debut for Boca. During his shortened debut season in the Argentinian top flight, Tevez made eleven appearances for the club scoring just one goal, but he added another tally in the team’s Intercontinental Cup campaign.

The 2002-03 season served as Tevez’s coming out party to the country. Still just a teenager, the Boca forward made 32 league appearances scoring an impressive 11 goals along the way. His sophomore season also came with his first taste of silverware at the senior level. Boca Juniors fought their way to the Copa Libertadores trophy, defeating historic Brazilian club Santos in the final with the help of a Tevez goal in the away leg.

In his final two seasons in Argentina, Tevez would go on to score 14 more goals in just 32 appearances. More medals were added to a quickly growing trophy cabinet as Tevez helped Boca to a Copa Sudamericana title in addition to the team’s third ever Intercontinental Cup trophy against an AC Milan side that featured the likes of Cafú, Dida, a young Kaká and countless other legends of the game.

Tevez’s time in Argentina came to an end in 2005. During the January transfer window, Brazilian club Corinthians signed the rising star for a reported fee of around $22 million. Tevez would only spend a year-and-a-half in Brazil, but managed to claim a Brazilian league title during his short stint in the soccer-crazed nation. His first year with Corinthians was, statistically speaking, his best. The Argentine could not stop scoring and notched 20 tallies in just 29 appearances, and then another four goals in six cup appearances. This impressive goal scoring record earned Tevez player of the year honors in the historic Brazilian top-tier.

Crossing the Pond

Ronaldo on Tevez on United

After reportedly refusing to play for Corinthians, Carlos Tevez finally made the switch to European soccer in 2006. Tevez and his compatriot Javier Mascherano joined West Ham United, but Tevez’s third party ownership ties added complications to the transfer process, and would end up causing more trouble for the London club later on. It appeared is if the move to the Premier League came with a bit of a learning curve for the man that set the Brazilian league ablaze. It was not until a March game against Tottenham Hotspurs that the Argentine international was able to find the back of the net for his new club. This first goal seemed to have lit a fire under the forward as he scored seven goals in the team’s final 10 games of the season, including a massive goal against Manchester United on the final day of the campaign to keep the Hammers playing in the Premier League the next season.

The team that took West Ham’s place in the relegation, Sheffield United, attempted to appeal their relegation to the Premier League due to the nature of Tevez’s summer transfer move. The Hammers would end up getting fined a reported £5.5 million by the Premier League because of the third party ownership that held ties with both Mascherano and Tevez, and they later also came to an agreement with Sheffield United paying a total of £20 million over a five-year period to the relegated club.

Tevez’s time at Upton Park was even shorter than his time at Corinthians. Just a year after moving to West Ham, the striker moved to Manchester United. After a prolonged controversy surrounding the potential move, United and West Ham finally agreed upon a two-year loan deal for Tevez so that he could finally make the move to Old Trafford. His first goal in the famous red shirt came during Chelsea’s visit to Old Trafford in September. United’s new striker would play a massive role in securing the club’s 17th Premier League title as he scored 14 goals in his debut season for the Red Devils. The trophies did not stop there, however, as United claimed a dramatic victory over Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow.

Following this amazing first season at Old Trafford, things seemed to go sour for Tevez in the red part of Manchester. Rumors swirled around the Argentine all season about his future with United. Despite another Premier League winner’s medal added to his trophy cabinet, Tevez refused United’s offer to sign for the club on a permanent deal and left after just two seasons.

The forward did not move far though, as Manchester City swooped in to sign the deadly striker. Following his signing, City put on massive billboards around the city sporting their new signing’s image with the phrase “Welcome to Manchester” front and center. This bold sign burned any bridges that Tevez still had at United and set the stage for some dramatic reunions later on.

Tevez settled in quickly at the Etihad Stadium. Even though he was forced to sit out a couple of weeks due to injury, Tevez managed to score an impressive 23 goals in 32 games (a strike rate of 0.71 goals/game). There were four separate occasions where the Argentine faced off against United, but he was only able to secure one victory in the series, but he did score three goals in the matches, including both in City’s 2-1 defeat of their rivals.

Tevez again reached the 20-goal mark in his second season with Manchester City. On six separate occasions, the new City captain scored twice in a match, and he even notched an amazing hat trick against West Brom later in the campaign. After a brief dispute with the club in January, Tevez revoked the transfer request he handed to the club earlier that season and reaffirmed his commitment to the club. Tevez was able to claim his first piece of silverware as part of Manchester City this season as the club won the FA Cup, defeating United along the way.

The dream start to Tevez’s City career took a nightmarish turn at the start of the 2011-12 campaign. A dispute with manager Roberto Mancini during the team’s Champions League trip to Bayern Munich where the forward allegedly refused to warm-up as a substitute led to a prolonged dispute between the player and club. The animosity between Mancini and Tevez went as far as the manager claiming that Tevez would never play for the club again and the forward leaving to spend time with his family in Argentina without the club’s permission.

With the Premier League title race coming down to the wire, Tevez finally returned to the first team in March during a game against Chelsea. The nearly six-month absence was apparent on the stat sheet. At the end of the season, Tevez only managed seven appearances for the club, and scored four times including a hat trick against Norwich City. The return of their former captain helped to push City to their first ever Premier League title, but the relationship between Tevez and club was damaged.

In his final year in Northern England, Tevez returned to his role as the team’s first choice striker and his partnership with compatriot Sergio Aguero struck fear into opposing defenses. He was unable to match his 20-goal performances of years past, however, as he scored just 11 goals in 34 appearances. Other than a Community Shield victory to start the year, 2013 ended without any major silverware for an expensive City side.

Trip to Turin

Juventus' Carlos Tevez

The latest team on Tevez’s tour around Europe is Juventus. The Italian club signed the Argentinian for a reported fee of about £10 million, which would prove to be a bargain. At the end of the season, the new signing nearly reached the 20-goal mark yet again but finished with a still impressive 19 strikes for the historic Italian club. His first year in Italy ended with a Serie A title and a Supercoppa Italia (equivalent to Community Shield) winner’s medal.

The 2014-15 season has seen more of the same from the forward. In just 29 games for the club, Tevez has already scored 18 goals. Juventus currently sit with a comfortable 14-point lead at the top of Serie A and face a tough Champions League semifinal match against Real Madrid. The play of Tevez has been instrumental in the team’s league and European runs and he will play a large part in determining how many trophies Juve walk away with in May.

International Play

Carlos Tevez started his international senior career in 2004. Named as part of Argentina’s Copa America squad, the young forward scored twice in the team’s run to the final and collected a runners-up medal in the process. Two years later, Tevez was included in Argentina’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Germany. During the tournament, Tevez only managed to score one goal in a 6-0 rout of Serbia and Montenegro in the group stages.

The 2010 World Cup in South Africa again had Tevez on the team sheet for a strong Argentina side. In the team’s round of 16 fixture against Mexico, Tevez put the ball in the back of the net twice in a 3-1 victory. One of these goals, however, was hotly contested by the Mexican side as replays showed Tevez in a clear offside position when Lionel Messi passed the ball, but the officials missed the call and the goal stood. Other than that game, Tevez did not score in the tournament. He was not called up for the most recent World Cup in Brazil.

Style of Play

The Juventus forward is famous for his bulldoggish attitude on the field. Tevez’s intensity and attacking style bring excitement to the squad and keeps defenders on their toes. This approach to the game leads to gritty, messy goals in the penalty area, but the Argentine is also capable of highlight reel strikes as well. A danger from distance in the run of play, or from a set piece, means that there is no one way to contain Tevez during a match.

 

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About the author: Collin Carpio

 

I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.

 

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