• Premier League

Tevez battling to win over Man City fans

ESPN staff
March 3, 2013
Carlos Tevez says former Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes is the best player he has ever played with © PA Photos

Carlos Tevez says he is still fighting to win back the affection of the Manchester City fans but stresses that he is a changed man after walking out on the club last season.

Tevez, having been an idol at Eastlands after making the switch from Manchester United in 2009, provoked outrage when he returned to Argentina for a large part of last season following a bust-up with manager Roberto Mancini.

The former club captain returned in February last year and went on to play an important role in the Premier League title success, but accepts he still has work to do if he is to recapture the adulation he initially received.

"I knew it would be difficult for the fans to accept me again," he told the Sunday Times, "but I hope, little by little, match by match... you give everything for the shirt and win them over through hambre de gloria (hunger for glory). I was once a real idol for these fans - they were so supportive of me. I hope I'm able to win them back."

He added: "I knew it wasn't going to be easy to come back. I'd left City and you could almost say I'd left through the back door, but it is almost like there are two Tevezs. There's the Tevez before, who had a problem, and there's the Tevez now, who no longer has problems."

The 29-year-old was quoted as saying in January that he remained eager to leave City and rejoin Boca Juniors in his homeland, but it would appear he is far happier in Manchester now that he has been reunited with his wife and two daughters, who had previously returned to Argentina.

"It totally changes everything - your disposition, your humour - just having them close," he said. "If I wasn't selected in the past I'd be in a terrible mood. Now I'm still gutted but I go home, see my daughters... it takes my mind off it and I feel better."

He added: "Fortunately it's a period of my life that's over, but [separation] was really, really tough. If you're unwell or down, you're on your own. If you need a hug, there's no one."

He also said his relationship with Mancini is "a lot calmer now" and that it "might be down to maturity".

Meanwhile, Tevez - who has played alongside the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Aguero for club and country - said his former Manchester United team-mate Paul Scholes was the best he had seen in his career.

"Scholesy. In training. On the pitch. Unbelievable," he said.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.