Buenos Aires (AFP) – Argentinian striker Carlos Tevez described his time at Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua as a “holiday”, after returning to boyhood club Boca Juniors for a third spell last week.
The 33-year-old was widely criticised in China as he struggled for form after Shenhua reportedly made him the world’s highest-paid player on a weekly salary of 730,000 euros ($899,000).
“It’s fine because I was on holiday for seven months,” he joked in an interview with Argentine television channel TyC Sports on Monday.
Tevez scored only four goals in the Chinese league and missed his team’s successful Cup final win, while coach Wu Jingui called him “overweight” when he took over in September.
But the former Manchester United and Manchester City forward has returned to Boca, where he played between 2001-2004 and 2015-2016.
“When I landed in China, I wanted to return to Boca,” Tevez added.
“It would have been easy to stay (in China), quiet, in a privileged place, with the number 10 and idol of a club.
“What would they tell me if I played badly or if I didn’t play because I was injured? They’d just say ‘Tevez is not good’ and nothing more.”
Argentina legend Diego Maradona, who also played for Boca, said he was delighted to see Tevez back at his former club.
“All Boca fans are happy,” he was quoted as saying by Argentine TV earlier this month.
“He filled Santa’s sack with dollars and came back to Boca. It’s perfect.”
Tevez will be hoping to help Boca end their 11-year wait for a seventh Copa Libertadores title when the South American tournament kicks off next week.