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Carlos Tevez’s reaction to Champions League snub led to Man United exit

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The Argentine has announced he will retire at the end of Boca Juniors’ Copa Libertadores campaign.

When Carlos Tevez hangs up his boots, he will be calling time on one of the most decorated careers in modern football.

Now 36, the Argentine has won league titles with Boca, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus.

He also helped Argentina win a gold medal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Tevez

Carlos Tevez in the Premier League.

To Premier League fans, Tevez will be remembered as one of the most complete attacking players of his generation.

After helping West Ham United avoid relegation in 2007, he joined Manchester United on a two-year loan deal.

A bustling, powerful forward, Tevez proved an excellent addition to a United attacking line that already featured Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Louis Saha.

Tevez at Man United.

The South American quickly endeared himself to United supporters with his all-action style, chasing down lost causes and showcasing that hunger and desire Alex Ferguson always wanted to see from his players.

Importantly, he could also score, netting 19 times in all competitions during the 2007/08 campaign to help United clinch the Premier League and Champions League.

Tevez’s second year at United didn’t go quite as well. He still managed 15 goals to help United retain their league crown and reach the Champions League final once again, but the Argentine saw himself fall behind new recruit Dimitar Berbatov in the pecking order.

Ferguson on Tevez.

Ferguson was always a big fan of Tevez’s work-rate on the pitch, but he sensed the player’s time at United was coming to an end as the 2008/09 season drew to a close.

“The 2009 Champions League semi-final pitted us against Arsenal and I was playing a three of Ronaldo, Rooney and [Ji-Sung] Park,” Ferguson wrote in his 2013 autobiography.

“That was my chosen group for the final and apparently Tevez was not impressed.

“We made a mess of the final in Rome against Barcelona. We chose a bad hotel. It was a shambles. We have to hold our hands up about our poor planning.”

Tevez started the Champions League final on the bench but replaced Anderson for the second half.

Tevez

“After the game in Rome, he said to me: ‘You never showed any great desire to sign me permanently.'”

However, while Ferguson had been impressed with Tevez’s contributions a year earlier as United beat Chelsea in a penalty shootout in Moscow, he was not overly enamoured with his display against Barcelona and suspected he had already decided to join Manchester City.

“Anyway, I brought Tevez on at half-time and just felt he was playing for himself a bit,” added Ferguson.

“From what I could gather, he had already made his mind up before joining City.

“After the game in Rome, he said to me: ‘You never showed any great desire to sign me permanently.’

“I explained that I had to see how the season played out and that he hadn’t played enough games for me to be sure.”

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Tevez ultimately did join City, spending four years at the Etihad before moving to Juventus in 2013.

Ferguson went on to add that, like Berbatov, Tevez was a player who wanted to be “assured” that he was a “great player”.

He was great at times for United, and while he was a popular figure during his two years at the club, his legacy was tainted the moment that controversial ‘Welcome to Manchester sign’, showing him decked out in City’s blue, went up.

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