So what exactly was newly appointed Manchester City captain Carlos Tevez thinking when he signed a five-year deal upon arriving at Eastlands in 2009.
It seems as though the diminutive Argentine forward was picturing the gigantic signing-on-fee that City flashed before his eyes or the tempting £140,000-a-week wages that would soon be leaving multi-billionaire Sheikh Mansour’s bank account and into his.
He certainly wasn’t thinking about his loyalty to City or fulfilling his mega-money contract with the Premier League title pretenders, who had just shelled out over £25m for his services. Within four months of signing his agreement, the former Hammer was already complaining and contemplating retirement and a return home to Buenos Aires. Tevez has simply fallen out of love with the game and on Monday reiterated his desire to quit the game for good.
“I have been playing many games this season, and my body is feeling it. I have been playing in England for five years, I have not spent a single Christmas nor New Year with my family,” claimed the 26-year-old Argentine.
“Then I think – what happens if I quit football as long as I am okay in my life? When I talk about quitting, I mean quitting football, not just the national team. But at the moment I still don’t know if this is going to be in one month, one year, three or five years.
“Let me tell you I am not enjoying the life of a footballer.”
Tevez of course is only human and is being honest about his feelings and the draining effect that the gruelling Premier League fixture list has had on his body. Yet the former Manchester United player is about to enter the prime of his career and his claims of feeling tired makes Welsh wizard Ryan Giggs look like Superman as a veteran at 36. His comments do however support his former team-mate Wayne Rooney’s view that a winter break is needed in order for players to recharge their batteries ahead of the intense end of season run-in.
However as the captain of his club, Tevez would have been best-advised to keep his thoughts private at risk of sounding like another spoilt footballer who does not realise the privileged position bestowed on him. Tevez‘s comments are more surprising given the fact he chased football stardom as a youngster to escape poverty and violence in the capital of his homeland. The usually determined Argentina international is paid handsomely for playing football and he should be prepared to sacrifice a few Christmas’ and New Year’s back home for his professional career.
Tevez is worshipped by the City faithful with 35 goals in 50 games for the Citizens, but his comments are likely to worry his manager Roberto Mancini whom he had a half-time dressing room bust-up with in the club’s 2-1 win over Newcastle last month. Had the comments come from an out-of-favour or less talented player, then I doubt such a threat would have been so easily forgiven.
Tevez may not be currently enjoying his football but he is being paid to do a job and should concentrate on turning City into genuine title contenders this season and not moaning about his hardships. As the club’s captain he should also be setting an example to the players around him and not looking for an easy escape route.
Tevez may have convinced fans of his commitment to the cause with his performances on the pitch but after the player’s latest comments he still has a lot of work to do with his Public Relations off it.