Libertadores Win Would Be Fitting Farewell For Tevez

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Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez has spent much of his career winding people up, but victory in this weekend’s Copa Libertadores final could be all about winding down for him.

The well-travelled Argentine had previously vowed to retire sometime next year.

But a win in Sunday’s South American club showdown against fellow Buenos Aires arch rivals River Plate could signal the perfect farewell for the lifelong Boca Juniors fan.

“I don’t think there would be anything left to win. That’s what I want and the dream would be realized,” Tevez said earlier this year of a possible Libertadores triumph.

“This is without doubt the most important final of my career,” he added days before the rescheduled second leg at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

With the first leg a thrilling 2-2 draw, the second game was postponed last month.

This was after the Boca Juniors team bus was attacked and players injured as it approached River’s Monumental Stadium in the Argentine capital.

Hanging up his boots after a second Libertadores triumph would give the 34-year-old Tevez’s illustrious career perfect symmetry.

The diminutive but pugnacious striker won the Libertadores with Boca Juniors in 2003, then aged just 19 and playing alongside Guillermo Barros Schelotto, now Boca Juniors coach.

Since then he has enjoyed a peripatetic life packed with titles and controversies.

He moved to Corinthians in 2005’, then left the Brazilian giants for West Ham in a move that was questioned in English courts for the way it was structured.

His goals and committed performances there won him big money transfers, first to Manchester United and then to Manchester City in a daring cross-city move.

It was a move which irked Sir Alex Ferguson and had Tevez winding up the Red side of the city.

But after falling out with Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini — in one notorious incident he was accused of refusing to go on as a substitute — he moved to Juventus.

He later moved over to Chinese league clubside Shanghai Shenhua.

When Tevez came back to Boca Juniors at the start of this year, 50,000 fans turned up at the Bombonera Stadium to welcome him home.

The return to his boyhood favourites has been bitter-sweet: Boca Juniors won the Argentine first division in August and are just 90 minutes away from a record-equalling seventh Libertadores title.

Tevez, however, has played a limited role in the campaigns, and it is a sign of his maturity that he has accepted it with grace.

He started only four of Boca Juniors’ 13 Libertadores games this season but has appeared in nine altogether, scoring three goals.

Most of all, though, he has proven to be the soul of the team and spokesman for the players.

When Boca Juniors’ coach was attacked outside the Monumental before the scheduled second leg, it was Tevez who acted as the team mouthpiece and lobbied for the game to be cancelled.

He is unlikely to start on Sunday but no one would bet against him playing a part at some stage, as he did in the first leg.

When he came on with 17 minutes remaining, he almost led his side to an injury time winner.

“I dream of making the people happy,” Tevez said.

“I keep dreaming, because if I didn’t, I would be at home with my family.

Source: independent.ng