Carlos Tevez tells heartbreaking story of alcoholic uncle to explain why he refused to learn English at Man Utd and City | The Sun
CARLOS TEVEZ has revealed he refused to learn English during his seven years in the Premier League because of his “cultural problem” with the British.
The former Manchester United and Manchester City striker said he decided early on that if anyone wanted to speak to him they should learn Spanish.
And the ex-Argentina star, who also played for West Ham, cited his uncle’s descent into alcoholism after a Falklands War call-up – which put paid to his hopes of becoming a professional footballer – as the reason for his own unwillingness to adapt to English culture.
Tevez, who famously complained on Argentinian TV when he was still Blues captain that everything about Manchester was bad, told a radio interviewer in his homeland over the weekend: “I had a cultural problem with the English.
“I didn’t want to learn English, I wanted them to learn Spanish.
“I have an uncle who played in River Plate. He’s the only River supporter in my family.
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“He played in the reserve team and when he was going to make his debut with the first team, he got called up to fight in the Falklands War.
“He suffered after that and became an alcoholic. That marked me a lot because he was very close to me.”
Opening up on his feelings about England on DSportsRadio, the 39-year-old added: “The seven years I spent in England were: ‘Okay, I’m here for work but I’m not getting used to English culture’. Everything has a reason.
“Very few people know this story but today I can tell it.
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“You want to speak to me. Then you learn Spanish, because I’m not going to learn English.”
Fellow Argentinian Pablo Zabaleta urged Tevez to improve his English for the good of the team when they were both at Manchester City after the striker moved from their city rivals United.
The Buenos Aires-born defender said in October 2009 after becoming fluent in English a little over a year after his arrival in the UK: “Carlos tries sometimes to speak English.
“I said to him he needs to come to me for lessons. I didn’t speak English before but I learned it here. When I arrived I could not say anything. I got English lessons once a week.
“It’s important because we need to speak with team-mates and managers. And we are living in England for the future so my English is getting better.”
Tevez’s reluctance to learn the language was one of the criticisms levelled at him when he was still at Old Trafford.
He escaped punishment for a serious motoring offence in September 2011 because his English was so poor he could not read the penalty notice sent to him.
Tevez, manager of top flight Argentinian side Rosario Central until late last year, made his feelings about Manchester abundantly clear when he was interviewed on one of his country’s leading TV shows while he was still captain of Manchester City in June 2011.
He moaned he couldn’t wait to leave the city for good and claimed the area had “nothing”.
Susana Gimenez, the Argentine Oprah Winfrey who interviewed him, pointed out another South American celeb – model Evangelina Anderson – had bought a house in the sunkissed Spanish resort of Marbella.
Tevez laughed as he replied: "Yes but Marbella is different from Manchester. You can buy a holiday house in Marbella. But I'm never going back to Manchester, not even on holiday, not for anything.
"Of course I would buy a house in Marbella."
Asked if it was just the weather that made Manchester so bad, Tevez replied: "The weather, everything. It has nothing.
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"For example in Marbella you can buy a house by the beach, relax there and later you can go there on holiday and everything.
"But a house in Manchester? On top of that a house in Manchester costs six or seven million pounds. Pounds! It's better to rent and that's that."
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