Despite being the best player on the pitch and having a blistering first 45 minutes against Arsenal, Carlos Tevez left the pitch for Dimitar Berbatov on the hour mark against Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Applauding the crowd, he left the pitch suggestively shaking his head, and has since come out saying that his future looks almost certain to be away from Old Trafford:
"Yes it's true I see myself more leaving United than staying here," he admitted.
"I need continuity in the team to offer my best. If this doesn't happen I believe this will be my last year."
The £30m price tag hanging over Tevez seems to be the obstacle preventing United from signing him. But is it really too much for a player of Tevez's proven quality?
A reminder of Tevez's history might provide some perspective as to what United will be actually be purchasing for £30m:
Tevez was a winner with his very first club, Boca Juniors, arguably one of the best teams in the world, playing in an Argentine league that arguably has been exporting the best players in the world, to all leagues (English, Spanish, Italian, German, etc).
Not only did Tevez help them win the domestic championship but they also won three international cups with him—the Intercontinental in 2003, the Libertadores 2003 (Champions League for S. America), where he also won the MVP, and Copa Sudamericana in 2004.
Then he goes to Corinthians in Brazil, a team that was not one of the better teams there at the time. And yet Tevez also manages to win trophies with them, and earns best player of year.
Keep in mind that this is an Argentinian player going to Brazil, in an unfavorable move publicly. The Brazilian president even expressed his displeasure of Tevez coming over in a one of the biggest deals in South American club history.
Despite that, Tevez worked his way into becoming a fan favorite, team captain, and star of the team. He ended up winning the fan favorite award in 2005.
Imagine that, for an Argentinian player to do this in Brazil is masterful. It's hard to explain the magnitude of this.
He also won South American Footballer of Year in 2003, 2004, 2005. You cannot disregard the high level of football in Argentina and Brazil, and many would put them up against the best any day.
The point is, this is not a player coming from the MLS, he has been succeeding in proven leagues. Even Maradona only won the South American Footballer of the Year award twice in his time, and Pele only once.
No, I'm not saying Tevez is better than those two, but hopefully it'll help people appreciate how much of an achievement it is that Tevez managed to win the award not only THREE times, but three years in a row.
After Corinthians, Tevez finds himself at West Ham, where the coach decides to not really play him at first. When the coach finally did, Tevez single-handedly kept them from getting relegated.
He then transferred to Man United and is a big part of them winning everything they won last year, which is no secret. And yet since Berbatov's arrival at the beginning of the season Ferguson is limiting his playing time.
Tevez is proven, and continues to prove himself every year on the pitch, and with every team he touches. I know it's never about what a player has done in the past, and it's about what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, as in most sports, but let's be honest here: Tevez has not been getting his fair share this year, and every time he does get a chance, like against Arsenal on Wednesday, he comes through like the champion and winning player that he is.
Does £30m still sound too much?
p.s. By the way, there's a petition going round for United fans to show how much they want the club to sign Tevez.
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