Carlos Tevez will not feature for the Chinese side until he gets fit.
Handsomely paid Carlos Tevez is overweight and will not play again for Shanghai Shenhua until he gets fit, the Chinese club’s new coach has warned.
The 33-year-old Tevez is one of the best-paid players on the planet on reported weekly wages of about €730,000 but has scored just twice this season and missed half the games with injury.
The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus star has hinted that he will quit China at the end of the season in November and has been branded “very homesick boy” by angry Shenhua fans and Chinese media.
Tevez recently returned to the country from a two-week break in his native Argentina to seek treatment for a leg-muscle injury.
He was jeered when he came on as a substitute last weekend in a 2-1 home defeat, and Wu Jingui, who took over after Gus Poyet quit as coach on Monday, is taking a hardline stance.
“I had a talk with him today about tactics, but I won’t let him play for now, he isn’t physically ready,” Wu said in an interview published Wednesday with the Shanghai Morning Post.
“Both him and (Colombian Fredy) Guarin are overweight. I need to be responsible to the team and responsible to the players.
“When you are on the pitch, if you can’t play at 100 percent, then it is completely meaningless.”
Tevez became one of the highest-paid players in the world after signing for the club.
It is the latest sorry chapter in Tevez’s turbulent nine months in China.
He angered fans of struggling Shenhua earlier this year when he missed an important match due to injury and was instead spotted at Shanghai Disneyland.
The forward has been a controversial character throughout an itinerant career spanning stints in Argentina, Brazil, England and Italy, before he left Boca Juniors for a surprise money-spinning move to China in December last year.
His most notorious moment in his colourful career came at Manchester City when he refused to warm up as a substitute in the last moments of a Champions League match against Bayern Munich in September 2011.
Tevez fell out with then-City boss Roberto Mancini and flew back to Argentina to mull retirement, before eventually returning to England in February 2012.
FC Cincinnati are backed by a loyal set of supporters .
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a kind of an afterthought in the soccer calendar here. MLS teams send out second strings. The nation’s fans aren’t sprinting to a TV to watch the draw for the next round. Yet, for those teams who aren’t able to get a seat at the top table, it’s a brilliant chance to stake a claim.
And even if FC Cincinnati’s brave journey to the semi-finals ended on Tuesday with defeat to the New York Red Bulls, try telling any of the 30,000-plus jam-packed into Nippert Stadium that a cup competition is a waste of time.
I don’t want to bore everyone by droning on about the whole ‘soccer has become more popular in the US’ thing, but what’s transpiring in Ohio really is something else.
This is a place with no real pro soccer history, even if the sport has been popular at the high school level for years. It’s a city which hasn’t been too successful in recent sporting times. The Bengals don’t look like winning the Super Bowl anytime soon. The Reds probably won’t lift the World Series either.
Cincy FC play at a stadium which is owned by the local university. They’ve only been going for two years and currently reside in the USL – effectively the second tier which has no direct route into the big time.
Six fan groups meet regularly to discuss chants and ‘tifo’ style flags to wave. Their first season saw attendance records smashed consistently. What’s followed has just reinforced and strengthened interest to quite incredible levels.
Billionaire local businessman and owner Carl Lindner III, who used to be in the Bengals front office, is leading from the front and loving every minute.
Beating Chicago on penalties to reach the quarter-finals – they dispatched Columbus Crew in the previous round – sparked the kind of wild celebratory scenes most top-flight clubs can only dream of.
In the next round against FC Miami, fans travelled in great numbers for a match that was called off thanks to the unpredictable South Florida weather. That, however, is quite something and when it comes to piquing the interest of MLS commissioner Don Garber, is absolutely crucial.
“Incredible scenes” tweeted wide-eyed Garber as he surveyed the crowd of 33,250. Interest in the game isn’t the issue. It’s seeing stands packed and TV figures impressing the money men.
There are two big ticks for FC Cincy on that score – the club’s website crashed in the build-up to the Red Bulls match because of the demand for tickets, while that extra-time defeat was the most watched show in the area.
Of course, the New York sporting market is a different beast. There’s far more for fans to sink their teeth into. Yet FC Cincy are the new kids on the block and have already exceeded the wildest of expectations.
“What an incredible environment,” added Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch after the end of 120 emotionally draining minutes.
“I think Cincinnati would be a feather in the cap of MLS.”
So what now? Well, that’s not so straightforward. With expansion costs now beginning at $150 million, there are a host of new cities wanting a piece of the action. Sacramento and Nashville are strongly in the mix.
There are, however, problems to overcome. MLS require any new owners to have a soccer specific stadium with real turf, not the plastic surface currently in use.
But Garber, speaking ahead of the MLS All-Star game in Chicago earlier this month, sounded confident of making dreams a reality.
“Two games in the U.S. Open Cup and more than 30,000 (fans) is just something they should be very proud of,” he said. “The owners are doing an amazing job.” Indeed they are. But there’s plenty more work to do.