Boca Juniors forward Carlos Tevez has said he is leaving the club although he fell short of saying he is fully retiring from football.
Tevez, who was a Premier League title winner with Manchester United and Manchester City and a Serie A champion with Juventus, helped Boca win two league titles since returning to the Buenos Aires club for a third stint in January 2018.
Speaking at news conference on Friday, Tevez said he needs to rest and added he wouldn’t play for another club in Argentina. The news comes after he helped Boca into the round-of-16 of the Copa Libertadores, where the club will play Atletico Mineiro in July.
“I don’t know if I can say that I am retiring, because in three months maybe I will have the desire to play again. But I won’t be wearing Boca’s colors, that chapter is closed,” Tevez said.
He also won the Champions League with Manchester United in 2008 and was an Olympic gold medallist with Argentina in 2004.
Tevez added: “Today is one of the saddest days of my life, but I am pleased with my decision. I’m not 100% mentally so I feel I have to step away and that is what I am doing.
“I’m in good shape but Boca needs me bringing my 120%. I can’t give that to the club today. I didn’t even have time to mourn my father after he died [three months ago]. I came back to play right away…Now, I need time away from the pitch to be with my family.”
Although he was capped 73 times by Argentina, and scored 13 goals, he did not win a major international trophy with the Albiceleste, despite playing at the 2006 and 2010 World Cups and losing in three Copa America finals.
Tevez was dubbed the “People’s Player” due to his popularity in Argentina, and was voted South American footballer of the year three times in a row having won the Copa Libertadores and the World club title with Boca in 2003 and the Brazilian league title with Corinthians in 2005. A successful career in the Premier League and in Serie A followed.
Tevez spent seven seasons in England and, after arriving at West Ham United in 2006, he helped the club avoid relegation with a famous final-day victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Soon after he joined Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and helped them to become Premier League champions, European champions and FIFA World Club Cup winners.
In 2009 he controversially left United to join rivals City. During his four years at the club he won another Premier League title, the FA Cup and was involved in a public spat with coach Roberto Mancini when he refused to warm up as a substitute during a Champions League match against Bayern Munich.
He moved to Juventus in 2013 before returning to boyhood club Boca in 2015. After scoring 25 goals in 56 games in his second spell, he left to accept a lucrative offer from China.
Tevez became the world’s highest-paid player when he joined Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua in December 2016. He later admitted he wanted to return to his home club as soon as he landed in China.
Injuries and lack of fitness limited Tevez, who left Shenhua after one season to return to Boca. Tevez scored three goals in 10 starts to help Boca win the Superliga title on his first season back.
After a difficult 2018-19 campaign, Tevez hit back by scoring the title-winning goal on the final day of the campaign to help Boca win the league title in March 2020.