Tevez down but not out at Boca, says coach Barros Schelotto
BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Carlos Tevez is depressed after failing to help Boca Juniors win a record-equalling seventh Copa Libertadores but is not planning to leave the club, coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said on Wednesday.
Tevez returned home from more than a decade abroad last year dreaming of helping Boca end a nine-year wait for a seventh South American club title but they were upset by modest Ecuadorean side Independiente del Valle in the semi-finals.
The 32-year-old former Corinthians, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus forward was recently reported to have been made a huge offer to return to West Ham United, his first English club, but turned it down.
“Carlos was hit hard like all of us but he’s going to stay. He already has his head in the second semester,” Barros Schelotto said referring to the 2016/17 first division championship due to kick off next month.
“It’s possible he’ll get the (three) days off he’s asked for... but I want to give you a message of calm because he wants to carry on here,” he told a club news conference.
Tevez, who helped Boca win the 2015 Argentine league title, played poorly in the second leg of the semi-final at La Bombonera last week when Independiente stunned Boca with a 3-2 victory to go through 5-3 on aggregate.
“He’ll be fine for the future, he’s happy at the club. This is like everything in life, you suffer blows and need to be with your family to recover,” Barros Schelotto said.
Boca have won South America’s elite club competition four times this century -- with Tevez in their team in 2003 -- adding to their first two titles in the late 1970s.
Surprise team Independiente, who are in their first Copa Libertadores and had already eliminated holders River Plate in the round of 16, are playing Colombia’s Atletico Nacional in the final with the first leg at home in Ecuador on Wednesday night.
(Writing by Rex Gowar, editing by Pritha Sarkar)