Football: Carlos Tevez move$ to China

Carlos Tevez, 32, is the latest high-profile footballer to join the Chinese Super League.
Carlos Tevez, 32, is the latest high-profile footballer to join the Chinese Super League.PHOTO: EPA

Argentinian striker is set to be highest-paid footballer earning $1.09 million a week

SHANGHAI • Carlos Tevez is the latest high-profile footballer to join the Chinese Super League, with Shanghai Shenhua confirming the signing of the Argentinian striker from his boyhood club Boca Juniors yesterday.

The acquisition of the 32-year-old will "greatly enhance" the team's front line, Shenhua said on their social media account.

"The club look forward to Tevez helping Shanghai Greenland Shenhua attack and seize goals in Asian and domestic matches and contribute to more exciting games for fans," the club said, calling him "the most outstanding striker in Argentina's history".

After passing a medical test, Tevez will join the rest of the squad on the Japanese island of Okinawa, where they are holding pre-season training.

Although no financial details of the deal were released, Argentinian media previously reported that the Chinese club paid €84 million (S$127.2 million) for Tevez, who returned to Argentina last year after successful spells in England and Italy.

  • HIGHEST WEEKLY WAGES IN WORLD FOOTBALL

  • £615k

    CARLOS TEVEZ (SHANGHAI SHENHUA)

    £400k

    OSCAR (SHANGHAI SIPG)

    £365k

    * CRISTIANO RONALDO (REAL MADRID)

    £340k

    * GARETH BALE (REAL MADRID)

    £336k

    * LIONEL MESSI (BARCELONA)

    £320k

    HULK (SHANGHAI SIPG)

    £290k

    PAUL POGBA (MANCHESTER UNITED) & GRAZIANO PELLE (SHANDONG LUNENG)

    £275k

    * NEYMAR (BARCELONA)

    £260k

    WAYNE ROONEY (MANCHESTER UNITED)

    HIGHEST WEEKLY WAGES IN WORLD FOOTBALL

    £615k

    CARLOS TEVEZ (SHANGHAI SHENHUA)

    £400k

    OSCAR (SHANGHAI SIPG)

    £365k

    * CRISTIANO RONALDO (REAL MADRID)

    £340k

    * GARETH BALE (REAL MADRID)

    £336k

    * LIONEL MESSI (BARCELONA)

    £320k

    HULK (SHANGHAI SIPG)

    £290k

    PAUL POGBA (MANCHESTER UNITED) & GRAZIANO PELLE (SHANDONG LUNENG)

    £275k

    * NEYMAR (BARCELONA)

    £260k

    WAYNE ROONEY (MANCHESTER UNITED)

    £1 = S$1.77 * AFTER TAXES

That price tag would make him the world's sixth-most expensive player, behind Paul Pogba, Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Neymar.

Tevez is also in line to become the sport's highest-paid player with the striker reportedly earning around £615,000 (S$1.09 million) a week on a two-year contract.

It will catapult him past the previous top three: Ronaldo, said to take home US$23 million (S$33.4 million) a year after tax from Real Madrid, his team-mate Bale, and Barcelona's Lionel Messi.

All top footballers pad their salaries with lucrative sponsorships, which can send their incomes even further into the stratosphere.

Tevez is the second big-money arrival in China's biggest city in less than a week, after Brazilian midfielder Oscar joined local rivals Shanghai SIPG from English Premier League side Chelsea, in a deal believed to be worth £52 million.

Graziano Pelle, Ezequiel Lavezzi and Jackson Martinez are all recent arrivals in China, while the SIPG manager Andre Villas-Boas is also on a lucrative contract after replacing Sven Goran-Eriksson.

Before the Oscar deal, Chinese Super League clubs had already splashed out more than US$400 million on players this year, after President Xi Jinping laid out a vision of turning the country into a football power.

Tevez, who played for West Ham United, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus during a decade in Europe after leaving Boca for Brazil's Corinthians in 2005, ended his second spell with the Argentinian club on a high.

Having helped the club win the league title last year, Tevez, who scored 25 goals in 56 matches, starred in a 4-2 win over archrivals River Plate in the superclasico this month.

A NEW WEAPON

The club looks forward to Tevez helping Shanghai Greenland Shenhua attack and seize goals in Asian and domestic matches.

SHANGHAI SHENHUA, being optimistic that Tevez will be a positive influence at the club.

It was a victory that lifted Boca into first place in the championship.

Tevez will team up with other high-profile internationals at Shenhua, including the Senegalese striker Demba Ba, the Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins and the Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin.

Despite a highly-successful club career, Tevez has failed to light up the international stage, scoring only 13 goals in 76 appearances for Argentina. He did, however, play a pivotal role in the country winning gold at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

Boca offered him their best wishes in a statement announcing his departure, which included the message: "Good luck Carlitos. You will always be in our hearts."

Shenhua, who appointed former Uruguay international Gus Poyet as manager last month, finished fourth in the Chinese Super League this season, which ran from March to the end of October, 16 points behind champions Guangzhou Evergrande.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 30, 2016, with the headline 'Tevez move$ to China'. Print Edition | Subscribe