John Carlin, a New York Times writer said he was “shocked” at Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez’s refusal to come onto the football pitch against Bayern Munich in their Champions league match at the Allianz Arena, Munich. Tevez has been unhappy with life in Manchester had publicly stated in the summer that he wanted to leave Manchester City to be closer to his family.
Manchester City was trailing Bayern Munich 0-2 when manager Roberto Mancini asked the Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez to warm-up to get onto the pitch around the 59th minute of the match. Tevez refused to obey the manager’s orders. “He will never play for me again.” said a disgusted Mancini in the post-match conference. “He is finished.” Tevez followed that by saying he was not in the “right frame of mind” to play.
“Footballers get paid such a ridiculous amount of money.” said British football journalist Sean Mullan. “That compounds the problem.” Tevez earns an estimated £250,000 a week.
Two days after the incident, Tevez said that there was a gap in communication and he had “refused to warm up, but not refused to play.”
“I don’t know if Tevez is right and there was a misunderstanding.” said Carlin. “I doubt it. Mancini was so angry that he seemed genuine”. Mullan said that Tevez’s refusal was a spontaneous decision and not something he planned.
After enquiry and trial, Tevez was found guilty of five serious breaches of contract. He was suspended for a fortnight and fined two weeks' wages. He was ordered to train by himself and then with the reserves. Tevez’s problems compounded in November when he left for Argentina and failed to appear at the training sessions.
Dario Weitz called the 27-year old Tevez as the “player of the people” because he “never forgot where he came from.” Weitz, who lives in Rosario, Argentina and is a fan of Boca Juniors said Tevez was “born in the slums” in the “dangerous” neighborhood of Fort Apache. “His life, like other people in Apache, should go in misery, except for football.” said Weitz.
Mullan said that the Brazilian club Corinthians had made an offer of €40 million but Manchester City wanted €56 million and €16.5 million in a first installment to release Tevez from his contract. “Corinthians wanted to wait till 2012 when they get their new television rights and hence the deal did not go through.” he said.
“Can the Corinthians pay £250,000 a week?” said Carlin. “How many teams can pay even two-thirds of his salary? He bought himself out of the market.”
“I read an article by an Argentine journalist who called Tevez his ‘own worst enemy’. His own national coach does not want him.” said Carlin, who recently co-authored with Raphael Nadal on “Rafa: My Story” and spent over two years covering football and politics in Argentina. “I sometimes feel sorry for him. He has made a mess of his life. Some players come from extreme poverty and violence in childhood. But then so do players from Africa, some of whom are so well-behaved.”
Both Carlin and Mullan wanted a salary-cap to be enforced in football but could not see it happening.