A knack for scoring important goals and the sheer energy in his performances made Carlos Tevez a vital forward for all the clubs and a fan-favourite, but very few know how the Argentinian striker got a burn scar on his neck.
Born as Carlos Alberto Martinez in a rough neighbourhood of Fuerte Apache in Buenos Aires, the strikers childhood was scarred with memories of drug dealers sprawling the streets, gunfights, add to that poverty and you have the perfect recipe for one of the most dangerous places to grow up.
The scarring incident
Apart from his goal-scoring aptitude, the second most noticeable thing that Tevez possesses is a third-degree burn scar which runs from his right ear down to his chest, which is the product of his tough upbringing in a rough neighbourhood.
As an infant, Tevez was accidentally seared with boiling water, and, as a result, was put into rigorous medical care for over two months.
Another notable feature in his physical appearance is his broken teeth, which are a result of the intense street fights Tevez used to be involved in during his childhood. He participated in these fights mostly for the money and also because that was the culture in his neighbourhood.
Although he was offered to get the scar surgically removed at Boca Juniors as part of a medical sponsorship, he rejected the offer stating that it had become a part of who he was and signifies his tough upbringing. He also went on to add that the scar helps him measure his success comparing who he was and who he is now.
El Apache’s love for his neighbourhood
Although the only two noticeable things that his neighbourhood gave him were scars and irregular teeth, but the Argentine striker has nothing but immense love for his neighbourhood where he is lovingly referred to as ‘El Apache’.
Many would argue that his neighbourhood isn’t an appropriate place to grow up but not Tevez, who remains adamant till date that his childhood was a good one and has often been quoted saying that the lessons of sacrifice and respect learnt from his childhood make him what he is today.
There is no doubt that he could’ve chosen the evil path of violence and drugs prevalent around him, but looking back on the way things were it is apparent that Tevez found his true calling in football and pursued his dream which was realised when he joined his boyhood favourites Boca Junior at the age of 16.
Move from Manchester United to City and the Bayern Munich controversy
Apart from his prolific attacking abilities, Carlos Tevez is also known for his outbursts both on and off the field. Two years after moving from West Ham United, it was reported that due to an alleged rift over his contract with then-manager of Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson, Tevez was switching sides to the Reds biggest rivals Manchester City in 2009 and became only the second player after Terry Cooke (1999) to transfer directly from the Red side of Manchester to the Blue.
Despite having a bright start for his career at Manchester City, scoring the second-fastest 50 goals in 73 matches in the club's history, Tevez was dropped out of the first-team squad pending investigation after he allegedly refused to come on as a substitute in a fixture against Bayern Munich in 2011.
This led to a rift between then-City manager Robert Mancini, who wouldn’t let Tevez’s name appear on the first team sheet for the following games and urged the club to fine the player for his actions. The forward was only allowed to return to the first team following a six-month hiatus.
It must be difficult for anyone to believe that apart from being an amazing footballer, Tevez was a musician and that too a talented one. He was one of the leading members of a popular band called ‘Piola Vago’, whose members originated from rough neighbourhoods around Argentina and now are a part of the music culture in all of South America.
Their most successful song – Lose Your Control – has been part of the radio station musical broadcasts in Argentina for quite some time now and his younger brother Diego is also part of the band.
If not for football, the name Carlos Tevez would have wandered unknown in this big world. From what his family and friends believe, the sport gave him a way out to vent his frustrations and ease the pain of a sad start to one’s life and a remarkable journey ensued owing to his talents.Published 04 Nov 2015, 17:45 IST