One of the best

Published : Sep 05, 2009 00:00 IST

Carlos Tevez... rags-to-riches story.-AP
Carlos Tevez... rags-to-riches story.-AP

Carlos Tevez... rags-to-riches story.-AP

Now at Manchester City, Carlos Tevez will be setting out to achieve what many see as an impossible dream: bringing the Barclays English Premier League title to Eastlands, writes Richard Wheatstone.

Described by Diego Maradona as an “Argentinian prophet for the 21st Century,” the rags-to-riches story of Carlos Tevez has everything.

His strong work ethic, flair and combative style have won over English crowds for the last three seasons and closely mirror Tevez’s approach to the personal struggles he has overcome to become one of the world’s best players.

Now at Manchester City, Tevez will be setting out to achieve what many see as an impossible dream: bringing the Barclays English Premier League title to Eastlands.

His move this summer to the club sparked a poster welcoming Tevez to “Manchester”, a dig at City’s local rival and his former club Manchester United, which resides in the borough of Trafford rather than in the city itself.

The campaign famously riled United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who oversaw the most successful period of Tevez’s career during a two-year loan at Old Trafford.

The striker won two Barclays English Premier League titles, the European Cup and the Carling Cup with United, combining with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney to great effect.

He became a terrace hero, demonstrating the skill, positive attitude and fighting spirit he honed in the slums of Buenos Aires, and his departure in June provoked outcry among Red Devils fans.

Born and raised in the notorious Fuerte Apache district of Ciudadela, Buenos Aires, Tevez learned to overcome adversity from an early age. At just 10 months old he spilt boiling water on his neck and face. He has turned down repeated offers to have the resulting scars cosmetically removed, insisting they are a part of his past, and a part of who he is today.

It was at the age of 13 that an offer from Boca Juniors handed Tevez his ticket out of poverty.

Having netted more than 70 goals in four years at youth level, he made his senior debut in 2001, and was the name on everyone’s lips just two years later when he scored five goals in seven games as Boca dazzled its way to the Copa Libertadores title.

Tevez left Argentina to join Corinthians of Brazil in December 2004, where he first met Kia Joorabchian, the founder of Media Sports Investments and orchestrator of the deal.

Tevez endured a rocky start to his Corinthians career and within weeks of signing was forced to apologise after reportedly questioning the ability of lineswoman Ana Paula de Oliveira in March 2006. Footage of a training-ground fist fight with defender Marquinos was also broadcast on Brazilian television to ensure Tevez hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

After winning over sceptical Brazilian fans, Tevez was linked to a host of top European sides, and sent shockwaves through English football when he signed for West Ham in 2006.

It was a move that would prove to be shrouded in controversy, and Tevez was also critical of manager Alan Pardew as West Ham went on a nine-match winless streak while the Argentinian cut an often forlorn figure on the Upton Park bench.

Under Alan Curbishley, who replaced Pardew in December 2006, the Argentinian experienced a new lease of life and he scored seven goals as the Hammers miraculously beat the drop in the EPL.

However, that success was tinged with dispute when Sheffield United began legal action to appeal against its relegation as the club questioned whether Tevez should have been allowed to play for West Ham due to issues over his third-party ownership.

The whole affair was only settled this year when West Ham agreed to pay the Blades a reported GBP30 million in compensation.

Tevez is married to Vanessa and the couple has a daughter called Florencia.

A Bentley Continental GT Speed is among Tevez’s fleet of cars, although it was impounded back in February when it emerged he did not have a full UK driving licence. The window tinting on the GBP140,000 motor was also deemed illegal.

FactfileName: Carlos TevezPosition: StrikerClub: Manchester CityD.O.B.: 05/02/1984Argentina caps: 51Argentina goals: 8Argentina debut: v Paraguay (06/06/2004)Moment to remember

Tevez scored the decisive goal in what proved to be his last game for West Ham that helped beat Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on the final day of the 2006/07 season. The result ensured the Hammers avoided the drop and his all-action performance was enough to convince Ferguson to lure the striker to join the Red Devils that summer.

Moment to forget

Tevez was sent off for the second time in three international games against Paraguay in 2008. A dangerous tackle on defender Dario Veron saw him given the marching orders, and Tevez later apologised for the incident.

© PA Sport, 2009, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, re-written, re-distributed or commercially exploited. Sportstar is not responsible for any inaccuracy in the material.

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