Carlos Alberto Tévez (born Carlos Alberto Martínez on 5 February 1984 in Ciudadela, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine footballer who currently plays for Manchester United
in the Premier League. He was described by Diego Maradona
as the "Argentine prophet for the 21st century."
Carlos Alberto Martínez was raised in the humble neighborhood of Ejército de Los Andes, better known as "Fuerte Apache." It was from there where he got the nickname of "Apache." His parents changed his surname to his mother's during a conflict between his junior club All Boys and Boca Juniors.
He joined Boca at the age of sixteen and played his first professional match with Boca on 21 October 2001 against Talleres de Córdoba. He played for the team until the end of 2004. With Boca Juniors he won an Argentine Championship (2003), a Copa Libertadores (2003), an Intercontinental Cup (2003), and a Copa Sudamericana (2004). Because of the Intercontinental Cup of 2003, he did not participate in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship with the Argentine team. Following Argentina's and Tévez's personal success at the 2004 Olympic Games, he was named Futbolista latinoamericano más destacado ("Most notable Latin American footballer") in 2004 by Latin American Fox Sports. In addition, the Argentine Football Writers chose him as Footballer of the Year and Sportsman of the Year 2004.
In December 2004, he transferred to Sport Club Corinthians Paulista for $20 million with a five year contract worth $10 million, following the Brazilian club's deal with Media Sports Investments. The deal was the biggest transfer ever in South American football. Initially, Tévez was not well received by the Corinthians fans – including Brazilian president Lula. However, Tévez became the captain and star of the team that won the 2005 Brazilian league and the fans' favourite player. When the 2005 Brazilian league ended, he was granted the award of best player of the tournament by the Brazilian Football Federation, becoming the first non-Brazilian player to win that award since 1976.
On 23 August 2006, Sky Sports revealed that Tévez was refusing to play for Corinthians. The article insinuated that a move to Europe was likely, with Chelsea and Manchester United
both mentioned as possible destinations. Yet on Thursday, 31 August 2006, the day of the European transfer deadline, Tévez confirmed on his website that both he and Javier Mascherano
were signing for West Ham United on permanent deals, for £12 million. The deal shocked the football world and controversy surrounded the move's exact nature and terms, with media reports suggesting that several other Premiership clubs turned down the opportunity of signing Tévez and Mascherano because of the stipulations put in place by the owner of the players' contracts, Media Sports Investments.
Following the payment of £2 million to West Ham by MSI, Tévez was formally released from his contract with West Ham United. Manchester United put forward a proposed two-year loan deal for Tévez to the Premier League, which was approved on 10 August. He was given the number 32 jersey, the same number as that which he had worn at West Ham United. He made his debut in a 1-1 draw against Portsmouth on 15 August, starting in place of the injured Wayne Rooney, and setting up a goal for Paul Scholes. On 23 September, he scored his first goal with a diving header, in a 2-0 victory for Manchester United
against Chelsea at Old Trafford
. In November, Sir Alex Ferguson
confirmed that Manchester United
wish to sign Tévez permanently. "He'll get me fifteen goals this season, and what's more, they'll be important goals."
Tévez scored a total of five goals during Manchester United's
successful 2007-08 Champions League campaign. In the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final, Tévez scored the first penalty in the shootout against Chelsea, which Manchester United
won 6-5 after the match had ended 1-1 after extra time.
In July 2008, Manchester United
chief executive David Gill expressed the club's interest in securing Tévez's services on a permanent deal, saying that a deal was likely to be completed before the end of the year. Rumours surfaced in October 2008 saying that the deal had hit delays, but the club was quick to deny the rumours, with a club spokesman stating that both they and Tévez were "relaxed about the situation". Tevez scored a penalty (his second goal of the season) in the 1-0 victory against Queens Park Rangers on 11 November 2008.
Tévez scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United
on 3 December 2008, when he scored a total of four goals in United's 5–3 win over Blackburn Rovers in the League Cup Fifth Round.This was also the first time in his career that he had scored four goals in a single match.