Months and months before he put his signature on a contract with Juventus, Carlos Tevez was thinking about hanging up his boots for good. No time off for a short vacation or anything like that. This was the real shebang. Things were a roller coaster ride in Manchester at times during his four-year stay at City. He had his share of disagreements with Roberto Mancini— probably more than we will ever know about during their time at the Etihad.
But Tevez's arrival in Turin might be considered not only a brand new team, but also a much-needed challenge for a striker that has been portrayed quite a few times during his days in England as somebody who might a little bit of extra motivation from the club he was at.
There are a lot of hopes pinned to the shoulders of Tevez. That's pretty easy to figure out — and that was even before we knew he was going to take hold of the No. 10 jersey. Tevez is being billed as the 'top player' Juventus have long been in search for ever since Beppe Marotta took over as director general. And when Tevez did arrive in the final week of June, it certainly brought a very good reception along with it.
Okay, so maybe that's not from the day Tevez signed with Juve. But hey, a guy can dream, right?
Back to the point.
I've heard some pundits when Tevez first arrived at Juventus talk about how they're not sure how much the former Argentine international has left in the tank. But there's also this: Tevez is 29 years old and still in the prime of his career. Were his numbers at City last season typical Tevez numbers? Not especially, but it's not like the team as a whole lived up to their big-money potential a year ago.
But much in the same vein as Fernando Llorente with Athletic Bilbao, Tevez is a player who not long ago recorded back-to-back 20-plus-goal seasons in a Manchester City uniform. And there's no doubt that's the version of Tevez Marotta and Antonio Conte hope they're getting this season. He has worked especially hard this preseason like all the other players have. Conte has been impressed with the way Tevez has carried himself thus far — a clear sign for those who were hunting for some kind of drama to arise that they'll just have to wait to start spreading nonsense.
Will a happy Tevez mean a world-class Tevez shows his face again? Well, shoot. I damn well hope so. How many months have we been saying to ourselves something along the lines of "Well, just imagine if Juventus had that top striker..." Well, guys, now they do. And a pretty good one at that. Sure, there are lofty expectations, but it wouldn't be the first time those types of things would be sitting atop Tevez's shoulders. It only comes with the territory, I guess.
It could very well be a simple formula: When Tevez plays well, the same could be said for Juventus. As much as this game is about breaking down tactics left and right and analyzing everything, sometimes it's just as simple as simple gets. The striker was the one position where Juventus were lacking and now they have exactly that.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that Tevez has everything around him to excel in Italy — both on the field and a team that has said nothing but positive things and messages of support since the moment he stepped foot in Turin. And judging by the fact that he said that, in a way, Juve has given his football career some kind of brand new life, Tevez could very well be playing with a renewed sense of hope this season in Turin. At least, that's the hope.
Let's just be thankful Tevez didn't hang up his boots or we might still be yelling at Beppe for that top striker.
CARLOS TEVEZ PROJECTION (SERIE A ONLY)
Games played: 33