Cult hero Argentine striker Carlos Tevez remains one of the most decorated players in history to represent West Ham United, doing so for one season, the memorable 2006/2007 campaign.

But, what made his short spell in East London so special? How did his colourful career develop after he left the Boleyn Ground? And more importantly, where is he now?

Carlos Tevez

The future world-beater was born in the Argentine city of Fuerte Apache just outside of Buenos Aires in February 1984 and grew up dreaming of becoming a professional footballer.

Aside from his football, Tevez was also a keen musician, being part of a musical act called Piola Vago with his brother Diego, whose biggest success was having a song that made the charts in Argentina.

Thankfully, he would choose football over music, in the end, learning his trade in the youth teams of All Boys and Boca Juniors, signing professionally for the latter.

Tevez made his first-team debut for Boca in 2001 and would spend a further three years at the club through his late teenage years, lifting four different trophies in that period, including the 2003 Primera Division Apertura.

At this point, the agile striker was beginning to attract attention from elsewhere, namely Brazil, where he left his hometown club for Corinthians, triumphing in the 2005 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A.

The future UEFA Champions League winner had already been capped at International level, winning Gold at the 2004 Olympics with Argentina and going on to finish runner-up in four major tournaments with them, including three Copa America’s, he would make close to 100 appearances in total.

Playing in Brazil meant that even more of the world’s spotlight was on the young prodigy and I wasn’t long before Premier League teams started to notice him, namely West Ham.

Alan Pardew moved for the starlet, bringing him to East London in a deal that included fellow Argentine International Javier Mascherano for an undisclosed fee.

But, the true cost of the signing would be revealed later that season as the Irons were fined over £5 million by the FA for a breach of PL rules over the signing, later being sued and having to pay Sheffield United £20 million in damages as they were relegated as a result of his goals.

Tevez’s one and only campaign in Claret & Blue would be a disastrous one for so many reasons as the club failed to follow up an impressive first season back in the Top-Flight.

Injuries saw his playing time limited during the first half of the term as Alan Curbishley took over from Pardew, by the time he netted for the first time in the Premier League, the East Londoners were fighting a losing battle for survival.

The popular figure’s first strike came in the form of a memorable free-kick against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur at Upton Park, but when they lost that match 3-4, the outlook was very bleak indeed.

However, it was thanks to the Argentina man that their form soon picked up, his five goals in the next eight matches saw West Ham win six of them and set-up a must-win scenario on the final day away to Manchester United.

 

The equation was simple for Curbishley’s men, three points would be enough to miraculously beat the drop and there could be only one man to deliver them, Tevez netting an iconic goal in the 45th minute for a 0-1 victory.

The small forward was hailed as a hero by the Claret & Blue Army, earning the Hammer of the Year Award and even when he controversially left for the Red Devils that summer, he was given a fond farewell.

The original deal was thought to be a loan but then became permanent for a large undisclosed sum, his time at Old Trafford, though only lasting two years, would be hugely successful.

Tevez amassed an astonishing trophy haul under Sir Alex Ferguson, lifting, in just a couple of campaigns, two Premier Leagues, a League Cup, a Community Shield, a FIFA Club World Cup and perhaps most significantly of all, a Champions League.

Despite all of this, the striker sought a new challenge in 2009, becoming one of only a few players in history to make the controversial switch between fierce rivals United and Manchester City.

His spell at Eastlands would be marred by various different controversies and off-field incidents, like much of his playing career, lasting four years, over 100 appearances and over 50 goals.

Tevez left Manchester with a further Premier League, Community Shield and a first FA Cup, moving to a more historic European giant in Juventus as he approached his twilight years.

The attacker had spent a percentage of his time with the Sky Blues playing golf in his native Argentina whilst on gardening leave, such was his love of the sport that he caddied for fellow countryman Andres Romero in the final round of the 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s Golf Club.

“Carlitos” won consecutive Player of the Season awards with the Old Lady and narrowly missed out on a second Championship League, lifting back-to-back Serie A titles and a Super Coppa Italia and a Coppa Italia.

In summer 2015, he was attracting plenty more attention from other European outfits, deciding to head home in the end to achieve a league and cup double with his first club Boca Juniors in 2015/2016.

At the back end of 2016, however, he was on the move once again, a much-maligned transfer to the Chinese Super League where he reportedly became the world’s highest-paid player.

At Shanghai Shenhua, he was understood to be earning upwards of £40 million, things wouldn’t pan out for him in China though and just over a year later, he was back with Boca.

Nowadays, at the ripe old age of 34, he is still playing with home club Boca Juniors, having resigned at the beginning of 2018 as his astounding playing career creeps up towards the 20-year mark.

When Carlos Tevez looks back at his remarkable stint as a professional footballer, I’m sure he’ll agree that there was scarcely a dull moment in it, while he is not most famous for his spell in Claret & Blue, the impression and legacy that he left in East London after just one season will forever be a testament to his character on and off the pitch.

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