I wasn't fit enough to stay at Boca: Tevez

PARIS • Carlos Tevez admitted that the Shanghai Shenhua transfer, which made him the highest-paid footballer in the world, was prompted by fears over his declining physical fitness.

The Argentinian, 32, told Boca Juniors fans in a video message on on Saturday that he would be betraying the club if he continued to play for them when he was not at the peak of his powers.

"I had to be 100 per cent, and I could not be just 99 per cent because, otherwise, it was bad for the club," explained Tevez in his first public comments since completing the Chinese Super League move last month. "That is what happened. I always thought that, if I was not 100 per cent, I could not stay."

In 2015, he ended a nine-year European spell for a second stint at Boca for an annual salary of US$2 million (S$2.9 million) - far inferior to what he was getting with the Italian Serie A giants Juventus.

At Shenhua, the striker will earn 20 times more - €38 million (S$57.7 million).

"I am going to miss you, life continues and you have to keep moving forward," he added in the video.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2017, with the headline 'I wasn't fit enough to stay at Boca: Tevez'. Print Edition | Subscribe