Carlos Tevez's Life in England: The Highs and LowsJune 27, 2013
Carlos Tevez's Life in England: The Highs and Lows
With Sky Sports' confirmation that Carlos Tevez has signed with Juventus, his turbulent time in English football has come to an end. And it’s been a Snakes on a Plane level of turbulence.
He played for three different clubs during his seven years in the United Kingdom with enough controversy to fill a truck (that he wouldn’t be allowed to drive) and never even really learned English.
His legacy will be his contributions to those clubs, which have changed their histories and, in turn, English football’s history. As well as bringing the name “Kia Joorabchian” into the English conscience.
In this slideshow, we go through his highs and lows, his up and downs, his celebrations with a baby’s dummy and the times he’s spat his dummy out.
High: Signing for West Ham
In August 2006, West Ham United pulled off a shock deal by signing two of Argentina’s World Cup stars, Javier Mascherano and Tevez.
While the English football world was used to transfers where one club buys from another club, this was a bit complicated, which was why no bigger teams risked signing the Argentines.
Tevez’s economic rights weren’t owned by his club, Corinthians, but by two third-party companies: Media Sports Investments and Just Sports Inc. Mascherano’s economic rights were owned by Global Soccer Agencies and Mystere Services Ltd.
All four companies were represented by Kia Joorabchian.
Before signing with the Hammers, "Carlitos" had refused to play for Corinthians. According to the Telegraph, he said, "It’s like they don’t want an Argentine to succeed in Brazilian soccer. If nothing changes, I think it will be difficult for me to stay.”
SPOILER ALERT: Refusing to play becomes a theme throughout this piece.
Low: Nine-Game Winless Streak and Training Tantrums
Following Tevez’s debut in a 1-1 draw with Aston Villa, West Ham lost the next nine games and didn’t score a goal in the next seven.
West Ham finally managed to win a game in November, but before the month was out, we would see a trademark Tevez tantrum. After being substituted in their 1-0 home win against Sheffield United on November 25, Tevez stormed out of Upton park.
As a forfeit, Tevez was asked to attend training in a Brazil shirt, however he refused to play (there it is again) in the top.
By this point, we were starting to get the impression he’s not one of those happy-go-lucky types who doesn't take life too seriously.
Low: Row About 3rd-Party Ownership, Part I
It soon emerged that no other teams tried signing Tevez and Mascherano simply because they were sensible.
It was around this time when the football world learned who Kia Joorabchian was and that he wasn’t just a brand and make of Koreans hatchback, but the man who effectively owned Tevez.
West Ham were fined a whopping £5.5 million—or, in football terms, one-sixth of an Andy Carroll—for breaching league rules over signing the Argentineans in April.
£5.5 million was a record fine for the Premier League, but West Ham escaped a points deduction, and Tevez was cleared to keep playing in the league.
And with that punishment, the whole third-party ownership issue was put to bed and never mentioned again...
High: West Ham's Saviour
Despite a shaky, non-Brazil shirt-wearing start, Tevez soon became a hit with the Upton Park faithful. He thrived under new manager Alan Curbishley, eventually scoring his first goal against Spurs in March. He then scored seven goals in the last 10 games of the season.
Undoubtedly the most important goals was against Manchester United at Old Trafford on the last day of the season, which saved West Ham from relegation.
That's when third-party ownership issue raised its head again (well, we say “its” ugly head, it probably didn’t own its own head. Kia Joorabchian owned the “economic rights” to the issue’s head).
Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock kicked up a fuss. If the FA had given West Ham a points deduction or banned Tevez, Sheffield United would have stayed up instead.
Tevez was voted Hammer of the Year—an award given to the likes of Sir Bobby Moore, Sir Geoff Hurst and Billy Bonds in the past—by the fans and remains popular at the club to this day.
But Warnock has never forgiven him.
Despite Tevez only being at Upton Park for one season, a transfer was looming.
A transfer to a club where he does not remain popular to this day.
Low: Row About 3rd-Party Ownership, Part II
In June 2007, Tevez rejected a move to Inter Milan, with his “representative” (note that those quotation marks should be read in a cynical tone) Kia Joorabchian citing that he wants to stay in England and that Carlito’s "heart is really in the Premier League,” according to BBC Sport.
Which would never be said of Tevez again.
Manchester United eventually bought Tevez, but there was some confusion.
Who exactly were United buying him from?
Was it West Ham?
Was it Corinthians?
Was it Kia Joorabchian and his gander of companies with vague sounding names and vaguer sounding dealings?
West Ham said they owned the rights to the player and hadn’t conducted talks with any club.
Joorabchian said the Manchester United deal was done with “knowledge and permission” from West Ham.
The Premier League said that Manchester United must do a deal with West Ham and Joorabchian must not receive any of the transfer fee.
And Tevez said… well, nothing, he still hadn’t learned English yet.
High: Signing for Manchester United
Eventually all the parties; the first party, second party, third party, the surprise birthday party and the after-party all agreed a deal where Jooracbchian would pay West Ham £2 million to release their registration which effectively made Tevez a free agent. Manchester United went on to sign him on a two-year loan deal.
Although, hand-on-heart, we’re not really sure from whom he was being loaned—but it was probably Joorabchian’s Media Sports Investments.
Tevez had a great first season for Manchester United... and possibly for Joorabchian too.
High: Winning the Champions League
In his first season at Old Trafford, not only did Tevez help United win the Premier League, but he only went onto win the Champions League with the team too.
He scored the first penalty in the shootout against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final in Moscow.
In the article “John Terry’s career: The Highs And Lows”, this slide will be a low.
But in the article “History Of Footballers Falling On Their Backsides: The Highs And Lows” it will be a definite high.
Low: Contract Dispute with United and Joorabchian
After a great 2007-08 season, it seemed impossible for Tevez to top it in 2008-09.
And it was impossible.
United won the Premier League again but lost the Champions League final to Barcelona. Tevez didn’t start this match but came on as a substitute at half-time.
Throughout the season, Tevez was not an automatic starter and had to compete with Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo for his place in the first team, but he remained popular with the United fans nonetheless.
As speculation about his future at the club became public, fans started singing, “Fergie sign him up.”
However, United were initially reluctant to meet the £25.5 million fee to release him from his contract at Media Sports Investments and turn his loan deal into a permanent one. But they did agree in the end.
By that point, however, Tevez decided he wanted to leave United.
Tevez ruled out moving to Liverpool because he didn’t want to upset United fans by moving to a rival club.
So when he did choose the club to go to did he achieve his goal of not upsetting the Old Trafford faithful?
High: Signing for Manchester City
Carlitos did fail in trying not to anger United fans when he joined their cross-town rivals, Manchester City. He was the first player to move between the two Manchester clubs since Terry Cooke in 1999.
And when your name is being mentioned alongside Terry Cooke, you know you’ve made it.
Manchester City reportedly paid the £25.5 million fee to buy Tevez from MSI in July 2009 to the delight of City fans and, considering he was 25.5 million big ones better off, to the delight of Joorabchian.
City, who were quite new to their endless reservoir of cash, wanted to signify this seeming power shift of being able to lure a big name player away from their traditionally bigger rivals so they erected a billboard of Tevez with “Welcome to Manchester” on it in Manchester city center.
High: Being Made Club Captain
After a successful first season at City, Tevez was on his way to becoming a Manchester City hero on par with Rodney Marsh, Colin Bell and Jamie Pollock.
For his great form (and to annoy United) City gave him the Player of the Year award for the 2009-10 season, where he netted 23 goals. He also became team captain, and City fans copied their rivals' chant of “Fergie sign him up.”
Yet, at no point in his career, has a set of fans ever sang “Kia sign him up.” Madness.
Low: Transfer Request, Part I
Tevez didn’t even make a full season as Manchester City captain before he handed in his first transfer request.
Carlos cited personal reasons for wanting to leave. His family lived in Argentina, and he wanted to be closer to them. The club contradicted this and blamed it on a certain Mr Kia Joorabchian (we’re starting to get the feeling that this is really ‘Kia Joorabchian’s Life In England: The Highs And Lows’)
Tevez eventually withdrew his request in December 2010 after "clear the air" talks between him, the club and the Paul Heyman to Tevez's Brock Lesnar, Kia Joorabchian.
High: Ending City’s Trophy Drought
Tevez captained Manchester City to their first major trophy in 35 years, when they beat Stoke City in the 2011 FA Cup final.
Tevez even finished the year by saying he would consider staying at City, if he could resolve the issue with his family.
So it looked like Carlitos was finally happy in rainy old England and they all lived happily ever after...
Low: Transfer Request, Part II
Despite making noises that he wanted to stay at City, Tevez did tell a chat show in Argentina (h/t BBC Sport):
There’s nothing to do in Manchester. There’s two restaurants and everything’s small. It rains all the time, you can’t go anywhere. There comes a moment where you say ‘where am I going to go with my family?’ and you begin to feel bad.
Of course, one trains, plays, does things, and when the family or friends come one feels bad and you can’t take them to the movies because they don’t understand anything.
You can buy a house in Marbella and take a vacation. I will not return to Manchester, not for vacation, not anything.
Welcome To Manchester, indeed.
However, in a u-turn, Tevez told BBC Sport, after the 2011-12 season started, “I’m happy at City and I’m not moving from here.”
Then on one September night in Munich, Tevez was named as a substitute in City’s Champions League clash with Bayern Munich. When he was asked to come on, he played the ‘refusing to play’ card again (a card that he never refuses to play).
Manager Roberto Mancini was more than a bit peeved, stating that Tevez was “finished” at Manchester City.
Tevez, whose grasp of English still wasn’t great, must have mistook this for “take as long as you want off” and went to Argentina, while he tried and organised a transfer out of Manchester.
So that was that. Surely the end of Tevez and City...
High: Winning the Premier League
Despite spending most of his suspension playing golf in Argentina, Tevez—and, it’s safe to assume, Joorabchian—failed to secure a move out of Manchester.
So, with City refusing to release the player’s registration, he eventually returned to the club in February 2012, having not played since September. He apologized for his conduct in a statement published by the Daily Mail:
I wish to apologise sincerely and unreservedly to everybody I have let down and to whom my actions over the last few months have caused offence. My wish is to concentrate on playing football for Manchester City Football Club.
He has a funny way of showing it.
Tevez eventually returned to the first team in March, and soon all was forgiven.
He scored against West Bromwich Albion then netted a hat trick against Norwich City to help Manchester City win their first title since 1968.
But that was with Joey Barton trying to take his head off in the process.
Low: Given Community Service
Manchester City failed to follow up on their title win in 2012-13 and finished a distant second to Manchester United, losing in the FA Cup final to Wigan Athletic.
But the particular low points for Tevez were not on the pitch but on the road.
He was disqualified from driving in January 2013 for failing to respond to letters from the police about speeding.
And in March 2013, he was given 250 hours of community service after being caught driving while disqualified. An anonymous—but certainly United supporting—tipped off police.
We have visions of Kia Joorabchian in a high-vis jacket and a littler picking tool, trying to claim third party ownership of Tevez’s community service.
To Be Continued: Signing for Juventus
With the news this week that Tevez has embraced The Old Lady (he has signed with Juventus, not done a Wayne Rooney) we'll have to wait and see if the move will be a high or a low for his career.
And we will have to wait and see if Juve have plans to erect a “Welcome To Turin” billboard.
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