Chi­nese 50 years off Euro elite, says Tevez

New Straits Times - - Sport -

MADRID: Car­los Tevez may be reap­ing the re­wards of China’s foot­ball boom, but be­lieves stan­dards in his new home fall well be­low the level he has be­come ac­cus­tomed to in a glit­ter­ing ca­reer.

The Ar­gen­tine, who had spells at Manch­ester United, Manch­ester City and Ju­ven­tus, joined Shang­hai Shen­hua on a then world record €38 mil­lion (RM180 mil­lion) salary in De­cem­ber.

How­ever, de­spite the mil­lions be­ing ploughed into the Chi­nese game on the back of pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping’s de­mand for China to be­come a world force, Tevez hasn’t been im­pressed with the qual­ity of foot­ball he has seen.

“I don’t think they will be able to com­pete with any of the big Euro­pean sides,” Tevez told Span­ish TV sta­tion Mo­vis­tar.

“Even if the best play­ers come, I think the foot­ball is very dif­fer­ent and the fans treat it in a com­pletely dif­fer­ent way as well.

“I don’t think they will get there in 50 years.”

Tevez hasn’t done much to im­press since ar­riv­ing in the Far East, scor­ing just once from the penalty spot in four matches be­fore be­ing side­lined by in­jury.

“They aren’t very phys­i­cal but I think they are very naive,” he added.

“With­out mean­ing to they can do you dam­age with a kick be­cause they are clumsy.”

Yet, with the gov­ern­ment crack­ing down on the num­ber of for­eign play­ers each team is al­lowed to sign, Tevez ex­pects big im­prove­ments from the new gen­er­a­tion of Chi­nese play­ers.

“Tech­ni­cally they are not very good, but I think with this new rule that the gov­ern­ment have put in, the kids are go­ing to have to start play­ing and that they will im­prove a lot.” AFP

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