Chinese Super League (CSL) side, Shanghai Shenhua have rejected claims that their marquee player, Argentinian Carlos Tevez, has been removed from the first team.
Last week, the Argentinean criticized Chinese players, branding them as “not very good.” He also expressed his doubts that China would be able to match the sport’s leading nations “even in 50 years.”
Tevez failed to meet expectations
Carlos Tevez arrived to the CSL side from Boca Juniors in December.
According to media reports, Tevez is on a salary of about $750,000 per week, making him the highest paid player in the world.
However, the 33-year-old former Juventus and Manchester United striker has failed to impress. He has only played 13 games and scored three goals for Shenhua.
Earlier this month, the team’s chairman, Wu Xiaohui said that Tevez didn’t meet their expectations.
The Argentinian, who has been booed by team supporters, was left out of the two previous CSL Shenhua’s matches.
Despite this, the club’s spokesperson, Ma Yue, rejected claims that Tevez has been relegated to the reserve squad.
'Tevez has never been told that he has no place in the first team, and the claim that he refused to answer the club's calls to play with reserve team is not true,' wrote Ma on Weibo, China’s most popular microblogging website.
Shenhau want Tevez to "show the real stuff"
Criticized for his poor physical condition, Tevez was asked by the club to “show the real stuff” if he wants to be one of the team’s three eligible foreign players.
'He should have realized that he will not be picked in the starting lineup purely on reputation. We have five healthy foreign players -- if he wants to be one of the three who are eligible to play, he's got to show the real stuff,' added Ma Yue.