Chinese fans call Carlos Tevez a ‘rat’ after holiday joke as backlash to Boca Juniors return builds
The former Shanghai Shenhua striker is labelled ‘shameless’ and a ‘dog’ by Chinese Super League supporters on Weibo
Carlos Tevez’s joke that his seven-month stint playing for Shanghai Shenhua was a “holiday” has gone down like a lead balloon with Chinese soccer fans.
“We knew the b**** would talk uselessly when he goes back home,” one fan wrote on Weibo after the striker’s interview on Argentine television.
“Wish you break your legs as soon as possible,” was another comment.
Tevez ended his lucrative but underwhelming seven-month spell in the Chinese Super League by moving back to hometown club Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires last week.
The 33-year-old scored just four goals in 20 matches while he struggled with his form and fitness, but still reportedly pocketed US$40 million.
“He filled Santa’s sack and came back to Boca,” was how Argentina legend Diego Maradona put it.
While former Boca player Maradona was delighted about Tevez’s financial windfall, Chinese fans saw the money he earned as ill-gotten gains.
“He only speaks for many of the foreign players [in China] – take the money and leave,” wrote one.
“He still has the face to talk about this and is so proud of it,” scolded another fan.
“A dog without professional qualities, the bad sheep of Argentine soccer,” was another assessment.
Shenhua seemed happy to move on from the former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus striker, whom they signed from Boca last January on reported wages of over US$800,000 a week.
Tevez was left out for both legs of the Chinese FA Cup final, with the club waiving a transfer fee as they reached a mutual agreement to terminate his contract a year early.
“After looking at Tevez’s interview my heart as a Chinese football fan is again deeply hurt,” wrote another fan on Weibo, according to Agence France-Presse.
“While we are chasing Tevez like a rat crossing the street, China’s managers should also do some good self-reflection.”
During his ill-fated season in China, which saw Shenhua finish 11th, Tevez drew criticism from the media and even his own coach Wu Jingui, who dropped him for being “overweight” after a trip to Buenos Aires for treatment on his calf injury.
Despite bringing an entourage of family and friends with him to Shanghai, Tevez failed to settle and earned the disparaging nickname “very homesick boy” in the mainland.
He added in his interview with TyC Sports that he wanted to return to Boca as soon as he landed in China – and it seems Shenhua fans wish he had done so in hindsight.
“Your playing form means it makes no difference with or without you,” another fan wrote on Weibo.