Argentinean football legend Diego Maradona on Saturday defended Carlos Tevez, who recently made a big-money transfer to China's Shanghai Shenhua from Boca Juniors. According to Maradona, Tevez "did what he had to do" by going to China and "did not defraud anybody."
Diego Maradona, Argentinean football legend. /CFP Photo
Tevez, transferred to Shanghai Shenhua in December, is expected to earn around 40 million US dollars a year, despite pleas from his fellow players and fans of Boca Juniors for him to stay. Tevez was a favorite son at the Argentinean club, which made 11 million US dollars from the transfer.
"The fans of Boca should thank him for coming back (in July 2015 from Juventus), but it is time that money goes to a player, and not a manager or businessman," said Maradona in an interview with sports newspaper, Ole.
Carlos Tevez kisses a trophy. / CFP Photo
Maradona also criticized another Boca Juniors legend, Juan Roman Riquelme, who recently stated he would not have gone to China.
"If China had offered 50 million dollars to Riquelme, he would be speaking Chinese today. Carlitos (Tevez) did not defraud or scam anybody. He simply got an amazing offer and he has nothing to feel bad about," added the Mexico 1986 World Cup winner. "Riquelme and Maradona would have done the same."
Juan Roman Riquelme, Argentinean footballer. /CFP Photo
Tevez, 32, will now be the highest paid player in the world. Maradona admitted that Boca Juniors would suffer as "Tevez is irreplaceable." The legend concluded: "There is no player to be bought to replace him. Many are spoken of but nobody is in his class."