There could be a lot of ways to describe how good Carlos Tevez has been during his first season in a Juventus jersey. Or, we could think of an easier way to say it. Like, you know, basically coming out and declaring that Tevez has been pretty dang awesome this season. Not exactly any other way around it. The facts are the facts.
But what makes Tevez so awesome? Well, a number of things. So much so that it's tough to single some of them out.
Yet that's what we're doing here. And what better number to dwindle it down to than the one he wears on the back of his fancy black and white jersey.
1. He's the top player Juventus was seeking.
While Juventus won back-to-back Serie A titles, there was something missing. Yeah, that 'top player,' the long-talked-about signing by Beppe Marotta and Co. who would make Juventus only that much better and that much more of a threat. Well, guess what? He's done just that. Champions League goose egg aside, it's not often you can bring in a guy and he becomes the league's top goal scorer right off the bat. But that's what Tevez has done. He's pretty good. Pretty, pretty good.
2. Grinta, grinta, grinta.
If you were to put the attributes of Antonio Conte the player into a striker, Tevez would probably be the end result. But since that's not possible, having Tevez in a system like the one Conte runs is the next best thing. You watch Tevez through the course of a game, you notice one major thing amongst many characteristics — he never stops working. Take Juventus' 2-0 win over AC Milan this past weekend as an example. Just mere minutes after scoring one of the best goals we'll see this season, Tevez was busting his ass on defense to help stifle a Milan attack. That's grinta at its finest.
3. Goals, goals, goals.
Before the season, we played a little game. A projection game, to be exact. The rules were simple — predict how Tevez would do in his first season with Juventus. The vast majority of people thought Tevez would have a very good season, one that would see him score at least 14 goals in Serie A. Well, we sit here in the first week of March and Tevez is already at 15 goals this season and atop the Serie A scoring chart. Champions League struggles aside, I'd say he's been a pretty good investment, don't you?
4. When there aren't goals, there's the setting up of goals.
Who's leading Juventus in assists this season? It's not Andrea Pirlo, it's Tevez. That's 21 goals being created through one player. I'd say that's rather impressive. Then you throw in all the goals that didn't happen that Tevez played a part and it makes you think just how many assists he'd have if some of those shots found the back of the net.
5. We get to see awesome drawings on a regular basis.
— VALERIO MARINI (@MariniCartoons) February 24, 2014
...I rest my case.
6. It's all about Juventus, not Carlitos himself.
I have a friend, who just so happens to root for Manchester United, describe Carlos Tevez as something that rhymes with "moosh rag" the other day. He had some other choice words for Carlitos, but I think the first reference gave you the gist of how he feels about Tevez. My rebuttal was that Carlitos hasn't had any of those issues that he had during his days in England. The guy is happy in Turin, and it's showing not just in his play, but in his overall mood. Happy Carlitos, happy Juventus.
7. The interviews he's given.
This is an extension of Np. 6, and for good reason.
Tevez doesn't speak in the press very often. But when he does, you get the sense that he's not trying to hide something. Or, in short, he's being honest. Take this interview from Feb. 22 with Sky Italia that ran on the Juventus website.
"I've always said, ever since my first day here, that I would have to respect the shirt and all the fine players to have worn it. But when I put the Juve shirt on, I almost don't know what number I've got on my back. What I do know is that I need to fight for the symbol of Juventus and give my all on the pitch for the club."
I mean, how do you not love what the guy has to say?
8. He cost all of €9 million (plus bonuses) this summer.
It's not as good as getting Fernando Llorente on a free transfer, but it's close. There was crazy amounts of money being thrown around for strikers over the summer. It didn't matter who it was, the eight-figure amounts of cash were crazy to think about. And then there was Tevez, who has been just as important to his team as any of those signings yet didn't even come close to any of them in terms of transfer fees.
9. The partnership he's formed with Fernando Llorente.
Twenty-six goals combined is the thing that stands out, but there's much more than that. Tevez and Llorente have meshed into quite an impressive duo. Llorente is obviously the point man of the operation, holding up play while Tevez and the rest of the attack takes shape. No bad for a duo that has started just about a half-season worth of games.
10. He has shown that he fully deserves to wear such an important number in Juventus' history.
I remember some of us around these parts being a little hesitant when Carlitos popped his head out Juventus headquarters and held up a Juve jersey with a No. 10 and his last name on it.
That's what a No. 10 does. He's a top player, indeed.
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