The 8 phases of Carlos Tevez’s career after signing for Manchester United

Carlos Tevez is one of the most fascinating figures in modern football history, a man who played the game as if possessed by a rogue spirit, constantly provoking controversy and still inspires love and hate in equal measure. His career has been a wild ride.

Tevez announced his retirement from professional football in early June after a professional career spanning two decades. However, he did not sit still for long, as he had already been appointed manager of Rosario Central in his native Argentina.

With that in mind, we’ve decided to look back at the eight stages of Tevez’s career since his big move to Manchester United in 2007.

Manchester United

Tevez got through at his beloved Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires and quickly made a hero of himself. He was a representative of Boca’s working class on the pitch and a tireless striker who led them to the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup.

However, he inevitably attracted the attention of foreign clubs, moving first to Brazil with Corinthians – where he won a league title – and then to West Ham in one of the most infamous transfers in Premier League history.

However, his huge breakthrough – the move to send him into the realm of footballing superstars – came in 2007. After helping West Ham stay in the Premier League, Manchester United popped up.

While United fans may not like to admit it because of what followed, Tevez was truly brilliant for a while. In 2007-08, Tevez, along with Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney, was part of the best attacking lineup Old Trafford has seen since the Holy Trinity of Denis Law, George Best and Bobby Charlton.

United won the Premier League and Champions League trophies and their striker scored a combined 79 goals.

However, the following season it started to unravel.

United’s strange lease came into the limelight and questions arose about El Apache’s future. In the summer of 2009, Sir Alex Ferguson decided Tevez’s deal with the shady folk who controlled his playing rights wasn’t worth doing.

“The fans rightly have their heroes and I was happy to agree to the deal as long as it was the right one, but it’s simply not worth £25million,” said Sir Alex.

Tevez was gone, but he wouldn’t get very far.

‘Welcome to Manchester’

No sooner had Fergie rejected Tevez’s move than the nouveau riche rowdy neighbors came in and took full advantage, signing Tevez and erecting the infamous ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard.

Fergie raged, saying the marketing stunt was “stupid and arrogant” and that City was “a small club with a small mentality”.

However, it gained City worldwide attention, and for a while Tevez’s signing looked as smart as the publicity stunt they pulled out right after.

Tevez scored 29 goals in his first campaign and 23 in his second, taking City to another level, taking them to third place in the Premier League and FA Cup glory in 2011, ending a 35-year-old drought.

But again, things would fall apart.

READ: Carlos Tevez: An invaluable striker who proved even Fergie wrong


Perhaps the most controversial spell of Tevez’s career – and that’s saying something – came in the third season of his spell at City.

Tevez’s relationship with manager Roberto Mancini started to deteriorate (to be fair to Tevez, he’s not the only one who can say that) – and it came to a head when Carlos Tevez refused to come on as City were 2-0 down in a Champions League game against Bayern Munich.

Now it was Mancini’s turn to get into a Tevez-induced tantrum. “He can never play,” said the Italian after the game. “If we want to improve as a team, as a squad, Carlos can’t play with us. With me, no. He’s ready.”

Tevez went away for three months, working on his golf swing in Argentina and while at it, used an interview to say Manchester was a “small and rainy” city with “just two restaurants”. Charming.

Finally, he returned, more or less forgiven for his sins. He took another hat-trick in Norwich, earning a Premier League winners’ medal that season and staying for another full season. But after the game against Bayern it was never the same and in 2013 he moved on again.


In England, of course, Tevez is best remembered for his spells on either side of the Manchester divide. People probably think of West Ham and his famous love for Boca, leaving his two seasons at Juventus as an afterthought.

They shouldn’t be.

It was the pinnacle of Juve’s Serie A hegemony years – the first under Antonio Conte, the second under Max Allegri – and Tevez had the bit between his teeth.

Now think about that team. Chiellini, Barzagli and Bonnuci. Pirlo, Vidal and Pogba. Tevez and Llorente at the top. It gives us shivers just thinking about it.

In that second campaign, Tevez was at his glorious, rabid best, winning the league and the Coppa Italia and leading the Old Lady to a Champions League final against Barcelona. She may have lost, but it doesn’t diminish the Argentine striker’s brilliance.

He scored three times in the round of 16 in a 5-1 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund and was unstoppable in the semi-final against Real Madrid, provided an assist for Alvaro Morata and scored from the spot in the first leg at Juve. -2 on aggregate.

However, the final would be Tevez’s last game in the Bianconeri when he went home.

back to Boca

The fairytale homecoming was complete and upon his arrival, Boca President Daniel Angelici said: “It is a day of joy and great satisfaction.

“The return of Carlos Tevez at an extraordinary moment in his career is fantastic news for all partners and supporters of Boca and Argentine football. The presence of Carlos will give another leap in quality to the great squad we have.”

Angelici was right – it gave them a jump in quality and Boca went on to win a league and cup double, Tevez’s second of the calendar year and the fulfillment of a dream he’d had since he was a kid.

However, the second year back at Boca was less easy and in December 2016 Tevez was tempted.

Shang-high salary

“My love for the Boca shirt has always been authentic and no matter what shirt I wear, the blue and gold will always be tattooed on me,” he said as he left Boca for the second time.

“I want to say I’m really going to miss it [Boca] and announcing this news hurts a lot, but life goes on and I have to move on.”

Still, despite the emotional connection, the £615,000-a-week offer was just too good to turn down and Tevez went to the Chinese Super League.

However, it turned out that he never really wanted to go. Tevez was matted at his best, scoring just four goals in 16 games as he struggled for fitness and form.

Just a year after the deal was signed, Shanghai Shenhua terminated Carlitos’ contract, accusing him of being overweight, and he was back on the plane to Argentina faster than you could say. “A beer and two empanadas, please.”

As Tevez’s idol Diego Maradona put it succinctly, “He went to China, filled Santa’s sack with dollars, and came back to Boca. Perfect.”

READ: The 10 Highest Paid Players in Chinese Super League History

Back to Boca (again)

Tevez confirmed the suspicions of those who thought he hadn’t taken the Chinese top flight quite seriously in a televised interview just after arriving for a third stint at Boca.

When asked if the criticism he had received from Shanghai Shenhua manager and chairman was justified, he said: “It’s fine, because I was on vacation for seven months,” before adding: “As soon as I got to China , I already wanted to come back to Boca.”

Full marks for honesty.

This time, Boca’s return would prove to be more permanent.

Carlitos once again became Boca’s main man and while he failed to replicate the success of Libertadores from his early years, he won two more Argentine league titles and, fittingly, the Copa Diego Armando Maradona in 2020.

After Boca lost on penalties in the 2021 Copa de la Liga semi-final, Tevez announced that he would be leaving the club for the last time.

“Today is one of the saddest days of my life, but I’m happy with my decision,” he said. “I’m not 100% mentally so I feel like I have to give up and that’s what I’m doing.

“I’m in good shape, but Boca wants me to bring my 120%. I can’t give that to the club today. I didn’t even have time to mourn my father after he died [three months ago]† I came right back to play… Now I need time away from the field to be with my family.”

Carlitos the boss

At the time of leaving Boca, Tevez said he could make a comeback as a player, but it never materialized and in June 2022, Tevez announced his retirement. Less than a month later, he was installed as Rosario Central’s new manager.

It is a relatively big job and a difficult one because Rosario Central has been having a really hard time lately. They finished bottom of their group in the first phase of this year’s Primera and are currently 23rd out of 28th in the second phase table with four points from four matches.

Will Carlitos be the man to turn it around? We have absolutely no idea. But we can’t wait to find out.

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