x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Put team before Tevez

Carlos Tevez flatly refused to play in Man City's match Tuesday. Well-paid athletes are too often out of touch with reality, but this behaviour cannot be ignored.

The image of the usually unflappable Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, seething with indignation during the post-match press conference told the whole story.

With City trailing 2-0 to Bayern Munich in Tuesday night's Champions League match, Carlos Tevez, the club's highest- paid player, refused to get off the bench when his teammates needed him most. City eventually lost the match.

Tevez's value to City on the pitch had, until recently, been beyond question. His undoubted quality as a striker had led to an indulgence rarely seen despite the Argentine's sometimes questionable attitude. But after Tuesday, few associated with the club - owners, management, players or fans - are willing excuse his actions any more.

This is further proof of how divorced from reality a modern-day millionaire footballer has become. In what other industry would an employee paid millions a year refuse to turn up for work?

Worse still, as the storm brewed, Tevez was seen laughing and joking, seeming to confirm what many, including teammates, have accused him of: he just doesn't care.

The club has now suspended him until further notice, and fined him two weeks' wages. Many will feel this is not punishment enough. No man is ever bigger than the club.