Carlos Tevez: His tough childhood, and the story behind the scar.
Carlos Tevez was born in Fuerte Apache, a small neighbourhood (or barrio) located in Buenos Aires. It wasn’t the most pleasant area to live in, a town where violence and drugs, as well as a high crime rate, all in some way connected to its poverty, made it one of the most dangerous places to live in Argentina.
“There were tough times, growing up in Fuerte Apache,” Tevez said. “When it was dark and you looked out of the window, what you saw would scare anyone. After a certain hour you couldn’t go into the street. It was incredible.”
Something that is still visible today is his scar. The striker suffered third degree burns down his face, neck and chest due to an accident with boiling water when he was just 10 months old. The scar was so bad it left Tevez in intensive care for about two months. Even at a time where he was playing for his local team at a very tender age, he decided he wanted to keep the scars. He had later refused to have them improved cosmetically by Boca Juniors, the first professional team he’d ever play for, almost to say that these scars are essentially what define him as the man he is today and the person he was back then.
When asked about the scar, Tevez said, “It was a defining experience–it marked me for life. I won’t have plastic surgery. You either take me as I am or you don’t. The same goes for the teeth. I won’t change the way I am.” Admirable, is the word I think you’re looking for.
His teeth, broken and crooked, is the result of a street fight during his much-blighted childhood. Apparently, Tevez suffered this as he was having a row over money.
Carlos Tevez is a proud man: he says he could have easily chosen the wrong path — and perhaps, as he looks back rosily at his growing up, something an outsider would view as harsh, he is adamant that it was good for him. “I could have started doing drugs and ended at the bottom, but instead I made it to the place where I am now. In fact my childhood was nice. I learned then all the values that grace me now: respect, humility, sacrifice.”
Despite this, you feel that maybe the sport was a release from what was obviously a troubling and difficult time in his life. He finally got his reward when he played for his much loved Boca Juniors at the age of just 16. You could say that the joy of actually making it in football helps ease the pain of what is a remarkable, but sad, story.