Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has admitted to battling a weight problem this summer as he struggles to regain full fitness.
The Argentine says he had a "personal crisis" after a difficult close-season in which he struggled for his country at the Copa America and endured speculation over his future at City.
"I'm not the shit that they say I am. I had a personal crisis this summer," Tevez insisted. "I put on five or six kilos and had to check myself into a clinic. I was depressed and so I ate and ate. Only my family and my friends know this."
Tevez is yet to regain full fitness this season, and has made just one 22-minute substitute appearance in the 3-2 win at Bolton on 21 August. While he is City's top scorer for the past two seasons, Tevez has found himself outside of the team, Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero, both signed this year, have scored nine of City's 12 Premier League goals so far between them.
Tevez had a poor Copa America, starting Argentina's first two games, but after failing to score, was dropped. He came on as a substitute in the quarter-final against Uruguay, but he missed the only penalty in the 5-4 shoot-out defeat.
Argentina coach Sergio Batista was dismissed, but Tevez insists it was not his fault. "People can criticise me if I don't play well," he said, "but they can't say 'he missed a penalty so the coach would be sacked.' It's the bad feeling towards me that I can't stand."
Batista's replacement Alejandro Sabella did not include Tevez for the friendlies Venezuela and Nigeria on Friday and Tuesday. "When I picked the squad, Tevez was not playing for Manchester City and gained weight," Sabella explained. "Good players like him are always in my plans."
Independent News Service