Tevez, from Fort Apache mis­ery to mega-money

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BUENOS AIRES:

From the vi­o­lent streets of Buenos Aires’ no­to­ri­ous Fort Apache, the son of an al­co­holic mother and with­out money to even buy a pair of boots, Car­los Tevez is now foot­ball’s big­gest earner.

The fiery Ar­gen­tine striker, who will bank a mind-bog­gling 38 mil­lion eu­ros a year with Chi­nese su­per club Shang­hai Shen­hua, has come a long way in his 32 years.

Aban­doned by his par­ents, Tevez was adopted by his un­cle Se­gundo Tevez who he quickly learned to call ‘papa’.

Thanks to Se­gundo, the young Tevez found a way out of the ev­ery­day blood­shed which was a de­press­ing way of life for his neigh­bour­hood, fam­ily and friends.

On one oc­ca­sion, his best pal was gunned down and killed by a bul­let in the head in a shootout with po­lice fol­low­ing an armed rob­bery at a city casino.

In Novem­ber 1989, when Tevez was just six, Nor­berto Propato, the coach of the All Boys youth team, rang the bell of Se­gundo’s home hop­ing to con­vince him to al­low his nephew to sign on at the club’s foot­ball school.

Un­for­tu­nately, there was no money to buy foot­ball boots.

Twelve years later, Tevez re­turned from a train­ing ses­sion at Boca Ju­niors to find his beloved un­cle, a low-paid stone­ma­son, had lost his job at a time of eco­nomic cri­sis. Strug­gling to feed their five chil­dren, Se­gundo and his wife of­ten went with­out food them­selves.

How­ever, with Tevez mak­ing just around $200 a month, there was al­ways a plate for the fam­ily’s great hope.

Tevez, the son of Juan Car­los Cabral and Fabi­ana Martinez, has never for­got­ten the grat­i­tude he feels to Se­gundo who gave him his name.

For Car­los Bianchi, the coach with whom Tevez won most hon­ours at Boca Ju­niors, the se­cret of the player’s suc­cess comes from his “pride and de­ter­mi­na­tion”.

“You have to see him run on the pitch to un­der­stand. He was dif­fer­ent from the oth­ers, he fought for ev­ery ball as if it was his last. He was al­ways hun­gry,” re­mem­bers Bianchi.

Tevez’s scars from his youth are phys­i­cal as well as psy­cho­log­i­cal-like the one on his neck, the legacy of se­ri­ous burns from boil­ing water when he was just nine months old.

The in­jury re­quired a two-month stay in hos­pi­tal.

From Fort Apache, he adopted a nick­name of “The Apache”. He has also been dubbed “the peo­ple’s player” and, af­fec­tion­ately, “Car­l­i­tos”. De­spite the great riches await­ing him in China, Tevez has of­ten ap­peared to snub money, opt­ing to al­low his heart to rule his head.

In 2015, he re­turned to Boca Ju­niors from Ju­ven­tus where he still had a year to run on a lu­cra­tive con­tract with the Ital­ian giants.

At Boca, he was paid $2 mil­lion, a salary far in­fe­rior to what he was get­ting in Serie A as he ended a nine-year spell in Europe where he had also ap­peared for Manch­ester United, Manch­ester City and West Ham.

Back in Ar­gentina, Tevez di­vides his time be­tween the fash­ion­able La Boca area of Buenos Aires and his man­sion in the elite quar­ter of San Isidro.

The man born into a world of grind­ing poverty and gun bat­tles, now buys homes for his fam­ily.

A keen golf player, he also can­not re­sist lux­ury cars while dis­creetly do­nat­ing huge sums to char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions.

At Christ­mas, he mar­ried his child­hood sweet­heart, the mother of his three chil­dren, at a lav­ish cer­e­mony in Uruguay.

How­ever, in a grim re­minder of his trou­bled past, his home in Buenos Aires was bur­gled while he was away. — AFP

BUENOS AIRES: File photo taken on De­cem­ber 11, 2016 shows Boca Ju­niors’ for­ward Car­los Tevez cel­e­brat­ing af­ter scor­ing the team’s sec­ond goal against River Plate dur­ing their Ar­gentina First Di­vi­sion foot­ball match at El Mon­u­men­tal sta­dium in Buenos Aires. Ar­gentina’s former Manch­ester United and Manch­ester City striker Car­los Tevez has signed for Shang­hai Shen­hua in the lat­est big-money Chi­nese deal. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.