The 34-year-old striker has regained the affection of his beloved club’s supporters by embracing a different role in 2018
Reality has begun to set in for Carlos Tevez. For the first time in his sparkling career, the 34-year-old has found it difficult to make a difference on the field.
The reason? It’s difficult to say for sure, but it’s probably linked to the way Tevez plays. The forward was – is – dependent on his ability to imbalance defenders. At 34, after a wasted stint in China and more than a decade of receiving knocks and accumulating injuries, Tevez is faced with an unprecedented situation: He no longer beats defenders for speed, and can’t hold them off with strength.
Although he’s had useful moments for Boca Juniors in 2018 (in 31 games he has 10 goals and three assists, scored a key goal against Palmeiras in the Copa Libertadores group stage, and another against Libertad in the last 16), Tevez, the Argentine player with the most titles ever other than Lionel Messi, is playing a secondary role.
“Today I have to experience things from outside and not inside the field,” Tevez said. “I have 26 titles and I put everything to the side for the glory of this club, and that’s something everyone must understand.”
Perhaps he’s done it without realizing it, but Tevez has returned to being a club legend after his 2017 escape to China from Boca had many fans viewing him in a different light.
He hasn’t returned to being a legend because of his goals, assists or performances on the field. He’s done it by embracing his new role with the team.
Tevez has accepted that with the arrival of several attacking reinforcements he has to play primarily off the bench for the first time in his career.
During Boca’s run to the Copa Libertadores final against arch-rivals River Plate, which will be streamed live on Goal in the UK, Tevez has not started any of his side’s six knock-out round matches thus far.
His transition has been helped by Boca manager Guillermo Barros Schelotto, a former team-mate of Tevez who has not coddled the striker one bit.
El Apache has decided to not cause a fuss when he hasn’t been considered in key situations, or when he is taken off the field (of the 22 games he’s started in 2018, 15 have seen him subbed off).
By choosing to remain silent when a player of his stature may have done otherwise, Tevez has shown his love and fidelity to his beloved Boca this season.
When the Copa Libertadores final begins, Tevez will find himself in an unfamiliar role. He will no doubt feel strange. He will not be the protagonist, with all cameras pointing in his direction.
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And Tevez will accept that situation. For that, the Boca legend has become a legend once again in 2018.
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