Carlos Tevez once had a hunger for goals, but once those began to dry up he turned to another source of sustenance – actual food.
The embattled Argentinean striker, who has made no secret of his desperate attempts to leave Manchester City, tells ThePublicApology that he stacked on five or six kilos in the EPL offseason through incessant eating. It is only now that the footballer is spilling the story on what he rates as the toughest time in his career.
“It’s depressing living in Manchester City. I initially thought it’d be a great city, you know, the home town of such iconic bands as Oasis, Joy Division and The Smiths!” he says.
“I wanted to dance, you know… Bailamos! But once I found out none of those bands actually played any more – with the exception of Morrissey, but, let’s be frank, usually he’s too liquored up to hit a good note these days – I turned to eating to stave off boredom.”
But the forlorn, homesick Tevez’s expression changes the moment I bring up the subject of food. Those brown eyes begin to twinkle and that endearing, goofy grin re-emerges. Guiltily, he confesses to a weakness for a traditional English breakfast.
“Bacon, eggs and fried tomato – you can’t beat that!” he laughs. “Back home [in Argentina] you just get fucking croissants, toast and various other pastries. Or beef. So much fucking beef. What’s the deal with that?”
“I’m a big fan of some of the other English delicacies,” he adds. “Bangers and Mash, obviously. But other stuff too, like Lancashire Hotpot, Toad-in-the-Hole, and Shepherd’s Pie.”
Before he knew it, Tevez’s lust for British cuisine – coupled with his penchant for a tipple of Guinness – had turned the precocious footballer into a portly playmaker. Tevez checked himself into a rehab centre in a desperate bid to win his battle with the bulge. It was now or never.
“It had got to the point where I just didn’t give a shit about training – all I could think of was my next fry-up,” he admits. “I was skipping video analysis sessions to snack on crisps and peanuts at the local pub. Eventually, [Manchester City manager] Roberto Mancini and Yaya Toure staged an intervention; the next day I checked in [to rehab].”
“But going into rehab was equally as depressing,” he confesses. “Muy triste. I had to get up and say my name in front of everyone; which was a bit silly because I’m so fucking famous in this football mad city. ‘Hi, I’m Carlos. I am addicted to high-cholesterol British pastries and meats’. Yeah, it was a real eye-opener,” he says.
“Luckily there were a few other blokes in there – mostly foreigners – who’d become obsessed with the food in Britain. Quite a few footballers, actually. Mostly Africans and South Americans, you know, guys from those parts of the world where cuisine is a bit bland.”
The freshly rehabilitated Tevez now looks forward to a fruitful year on the pitch with the premiership contenders. But he will be staying well away from Manchester’s Michelin-rated restaurants. It’s part of a new contract clause drawn up by Man City officials.
“Mancini told all the chefs and waiters in all of Manchester not to serve me – it’s a blanket ban. I’ll be on a strict diet of iceberg salad and croutons for the remainder of the Barclays season.”
In a delightful case of mixed metaphor, Tevez adds: “It won’t be fun, but I’ve dug my bed and I now must lie in it.”
By Dave Edwards