Controversial star

If Manchester City decided to play hard ball following his decision to disobey club orders and return to Argentina, Carlos Tevez could be left to sulk on the sidelines for the remainder of his contract while his team-mates go about winning silverware, writes Leigham Stone.

Barely a day goes by without Carlos Tevez hitting the headlines again and the man from Buenos Aires is fast becoming one of the most controversial players in the game.

After his alleged refusal to come off the bench in Manchester City's UEFA Champions League clash with Bayern Munich recently, the striker has cast his own shadow over his footballing future.

It says a lot about City's wealth and the size of their squad that, as they sit pretty at the top of the English Premier League, they have been able to do it without Tevez. After his proposed GBP40 million move to Brazilian giants Corinthians fell through in the summer, ‘Fort Apache', as he's best known back in Argentina, has been playing second, third and even fourth fiddle in the City ranks. It is a stark contrast from last season when he scored 20 EPL goals and was a central figure in attack.

His recent actions have led to a fall-out with his club and his manager Roberto Mancini. It seems his days are numbered in Manchester City, with the January transfer window not coming quick enough. But will anyone still want him?

Corinthians failed with a bid earlier this year and it was widely reported that the troubled star will eventually return to the club that he spent two years with. But if City decide to play hard ball following his decision to disobey club orders and return to Argentina, he could be left to sulk on the sidelines for the remainder of his contract while his team-mates go about winning silverware.

Tevez arrived in Rio De Janeiro in 2005 after transferring from his hometown club Boca Juniors for GBP13.7 million, the biggest transfer deal in South American history. He soon received the captain's armband and led the club to the league title in his first season. He was also named the league's best player by the Brazilian Football Confederation, becoming the first non-Brazilian to win the award since 1976.

However his second season did not meet the same expectations as the first and, after his form dipped, he was transfer-listed. His next step was to move to England but, in a sign of things to come, it was a controversial transfer as he headed to West Ham on a third-party deal.

After taking the first part of the season to adjust to the EPL, Tevez became a cult hero with the Hammers and was influential in steering Alan Curbishley's side away from relegation, scoring seven goals in his last 10 games for the club.

West Ham were eventually fined over the transfer but were not relegated, much to the fury of Sheffield United.

Tevez's sparkling form had captured the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe and he eventually made the switch to Manchester United. Throughout his two seasons with the Red Devils, he struggled to cement a regular place in the team but, due to his tireless work ethic, he won the hearts of the fans once more and played an active role in helping his side to win the EPL, the UEFA Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2008.

In 2009, his lack of playing time failed to increase, leading to differences between him and manager Sir Alex Ferguson. For that reason, Tevez chose to join local neighbours and fierce rivals Manchester City for a reported club-record fee of GBP47 million, to the delight of their fans. It was the first time City had signed a United player since 1999 and a city-centre banner designed by City which read ‘Welcome to Manchester' only added to the ill feeling at Old Trafford.

The talented striker soon became the spearhead of the City attack and played a significant part in winning the FA Cup, the club's first trophy since 1976. He was also a member of the Argentina team that reached the World Cup quarterfinals in 2010, scoring two goals. It was his best return at an international competition since the 2004 Olympic Games where he scored eight, including the only goal in the final.

Tevez became a fans' favourite once again but it was a familiar tale when things started to turn sour as he revealed his desire to leave Manchester and move closer to his family back in South America.

With no transfer being agreed in August 2011, Tevez stayed at City but matters came to a head in Munich when manager Roberto Mancini claimed Tevez was “finished” at the club after accusing him of refusing to play as a substitute.

Tevez insisted he had only refused to warm up but faced disciplinary action from the club and a hefty fine. Mancini then suggested Tevez could return to the team if he apologised, but his unauthorised return to Argentina means relations between the frontman and his club appear to have reached a new low.

What next for Carlos Tevez? His falling out with Roberto Mancini in Munich is a new low during his time in England.

Tevez is married to Vanessa and they have two daughters, Florencia and Katia. The footballer currently owns a Bentley Continental GT.

FACTFILE Name: Carlos Tevez Position: Striker Club: Manchester City D.O.B: 5/2/1984 Argentina caps: 59 Argentina goals: 13 Argentina debut: v Paraguay, 2004 Moment to remember

Part of Manchester United's 2008 Champions League-winning team.

Moment to forget

Received a red card for a late tackle on defender Dario Veron during Argentina's 2008 World Cup qualifier against Paraguay.

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