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Why You Kind Of Have To Admire Carlos Tevez' £32m-Per-Year Move To China

By Gavan Casey
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The extraordinary and illustrious career of Carlos Tevez took its latest twist last week, as reports emerged that the former West Ham, Man United and Man City striker will move to China to become the highest-paid footballer on the planet.

The 32-year-old Argentine returned to Boca Juniors last year for a fee of just £4.6m after consecutive seasons as top scorer at Juventus; he had long pined for his homeland, having struggled to adapt to life in Manchester during a controversial six-year stint on both red and blue halves of the city. His return to La Bombanera was the epitome of a decision made for both footballing and family reasons, and quite rapidly, many critics' perception of Tevez as a mercenary was vanquished as he rode off into the sunset, never to be troubled by the soap opera-like rigours European football again. A fairytale ending, of sorts, for a colourful character.

Every so often, of course, he'd surface on Twitter or Reddit Soccer; just 10 days ago he scored a quintessential Tevez brace versus River Plate - a diligent dispossessing of a goalkeeper and tap-in followed by a supremely struck, curled effort - for his boyhood club in the latest Superclásico instalment. He had earlier silenced Estadio Monumental as he provided the opener for the wonderfully-named Walter Bou with a brisk burst and through ball.

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After facing criticism in the Argentinian media earlier this year for a number of lacklustre performances - most notably Boca's 4-0 Supercopa defeat to San Lorenzo back in February - 'Carlitos' had settled one of the most ferociously contested derbies in world football almost single-handedly, further cementing the legendary status in which he's held by the Los Xeneizes faithful.

And then, after countless reassuring badge kisses, he was off again.

Tevez will earn £615,000 per week at Shanghai Shenhua, making him the highest-paid footballer player on the planet and, obviously, ever. For a man entering the twilight years of his career, the offer was simply too gargantuan to decline, even if it means leaving the sanctity of Argentinian life for an altogether more alien culture than he experienced even in England.


His final act in a Boca shirt - for this spell, at least - was adding the second goal in their 4-1 home victory over Colón.

Of the 49,000-strong crowd, many held up signs pleading with Tevez not to depart. Indeed, as Tevez was withdrawn to a thunderous ovation in the 90th minute and emotionally waved to the stands, one fan entered the pitch and bowed down before him, seemingly praying to his idol to stay at the Bombanera.

Tevez warmly embraced the pitch intruder as the stands were shaken by chants in his name. His stay back amongst 'his' people - the working class inhabitants of Buenos Aires' docklands - was to prove fleeting.


But where Tevez's blue-and-gold worshippers could wholly understand why 'one of them' would opt to accept an offer of such magnitude, the reaction in Europe - where Tevez enjoyed nine frequently turbulent seasons - was more sceptical. Soldiers and doctors, of course, don't earn that sort of moola, nor do Luas drivers, 'and anyway, wasn't he supposed to be going back to Argentina for family reasons?'

Tevez also received flak from your Sport Bibles and Sporfs, who cried hypocrisy while pointing toward comments he made in 2010. It was then when Tevez attacked what he perceived to be the greed of overpaid young players in the Premier League, claiming they were more inclined to line their pockets and buy the latest gadgets than win trophies.


The Argentinian had then become so disenchanted with the state of the game he vowed to retire within "three or four years", declaring to Argentinian television station TyC Sports that he would rather punch some of his colleagues than listen to their advice:


I don't want to play any more. I'm tired of football but also tired of people who work in football. I'm talking seriously. Football is only about money and I don't like it.

There are so many agents with really young footballers, it's awful as these young players are not interested in winning titles. They only want money.

The 26-year-old, who has three and a half years left on his £145,000-a-week contract, said football was full of uneducated "bad people".

The young players think that they have won something in football because they have two cell phones and a house. Today there are many bad people in the football business and you have to fight with them all the time. I'm tired of that, too. I'm going to play football for three or four years in Europe, then I will quit.

Today the young players have no education at all and I don't want to listen to them. When I played in Boca [Juniors], when [Martín] Palermo or [Juan Román] Riquelme talked, I listened to them.

So I don't want a young player to tell me, 'Why did you do that?' in the dressing room. I would punch [them], as I have won 13 titles in my career.

Tevez's move to China is motivated solely by the values he once admonished, but rather than be viewed hypocritically, his decision should almost be admired. Take, for example, his beyond absurdly large impending income:

£32m per year breaks down into £615k per week.

£615k divided by seven amounts to £88k per day.

[Trust us, we're not trying to prove the existence of the Illuminati, here.]

£88k per day divided by 24 amounts to £3.6k per hour.

£3.6k divided by 60 amounts to £60 per minute, which again divided by 60 leaves Tevez earning £1 per second. PER SECOND.

Now, either his Shanghai deal is one highly elaborate mathematical coincidence, or somebody is ripping the living piss here. And our considerably less money is on that man Tevez.

In February of this year, he reportedly turned down a move worth £25m per year to the same Chinese outfit, instead opting to remain at his beloved Boca. It appeared no sum of money could tempt Tevez back into world football's financial rabbit hole.

Shanghai evidently retained their interest in accruing his mercurial services, however and, considering his views on 'greed' in football, either Tevez's agent or Shanghai themselves tabled a nonsensical, throwaway, £1 per second deal for the other party to mull over. Despite its sheer lunacy, the deal came to fruition.

And so now, not only is Tevez leaving to earn a monumental wage upon which he, his children and probably his children's children can retire, but he's catapulted himself into a totally different stratosphere to the young rapscallions who he claimed were motivated solely by such perceptively trivial matters, without giving too much of a shit. He's begrudgingly manufactured a situation where a particularly elongated fart could be worth to him almost an hour's wage for most Irish graduates.

And furthermore, he's done so with 16 major club medals from four different countries, along with 30 individual honours, tucked away nicely in his suitcase - one final two-fingered salute to the money-hungry youngsters who have been partially culpable in driving football economics to oblivion, but will likely never come close to the fortunes Tevez is destined to inherit without first sacrificing the football side of their careers.

More luck to him.

SEE ALSO: Robbie Keane Has Been Doing The Same Warm-Up Routine His Whole Life

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