Carlos Tevez knows what it means to fight against adversity and succeed. Hailing from the mean streets of the Buenos Aires suburb of Fuerte Apache, the Manchester City man is now a star of world football and one of the players Argentina are looking to when they bid for glory at the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™.
The battling qualities he has displayed throughout his career, reflected in his all-action style on the pitch, have been fully rewarded so far. Indeed, Tevez has been so successful that he is the only Argentinian player to have won the Copa Libertadores, the UEFA Champions League, the Intercontinental Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
He was only 17 when he made debut in the Argentinian first division with his beloved Boca Juniors. An integral part of the Xeneize side that won the Apertura championship, the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup in 2003, he then moved to Sao Paulo giants Corinthians, becoming a firm favourite with the fans despite the long-running rivalry between Brazil and Argentina. After scoring 31 goals in 47 games for O Timão and helping them win the Brazilian league championship, he was snapped up by English Premier League side West Ham United in 2006, quickly earning yet more adulation after almost single-handedly keeping them up that season.
His outstanding performances for the Hammers soon had the biggest clubs in the land trailing his signature. Joining Manchester United on a two-year loan, he won the league title and the Carling Cup before signing for eternal rivals Manchester City. It was a switch that caused a great deal of controversy. United fans have not forgiven their one-time idol for turning his back on them, while City welcomed Carlitos with open arms. Repaying them for their support, Tevez racked up over 20 goals in his maiden season at Eastlands, producing some typically rampaging performances along the way.
On the international front, Tevez was the spearhead of the Argentina side that finished fourth at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2001. Marcelo Bielsa promoted him to the senior team in time for the 2004 Copa America and also took him to the Men’s Olympic Football Tournament at Athens later that year. He was the star of the show, top-scoring for his team as they ran out gold-medal winners.
Two years later Tevez was on duty at the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™, starting the tournament on the bench but scoring in the 6-0 rout of Serbia and Montenegro and making the starting line-up for the quarter-final defeat to the host nation. Another near miss followed at the 2007 Copa America, when Argentina lost to Brazil in the final, all of which has made the tireless forward even more determined to inspire his country to success in South Africa. “If we win, I might even retire,” he recently remarked.