BUENOS AIRES (Reuters) - Carlos Tevez was officially unveiled on Monday as a Boca Juniors player in a 6.5 million euros ($7.15 million) transfer from Juventus.
Thousands of fans of the popular club from the port district of La Boca packed La Bombonera stadium to welcome Tevez home from a decade abroad the day after the team went top of the Argentine league championship.
“My heart’s exploding with happiness! Thanks for braving the cold and waiting for me. I‘m already back home,” Tevez said on his Twitter feed.
Juventus, the last of Tevez’s overseas clubs that began at Corinthians in Brazil in 2005 and included English sides West Ham United, Manchester United and Manchester City, revealed the terms of the deal on their website (www.juventus.com).
On top of the fee for Tevez, the Italian champions get the loan until June 30, 2017 of Boca teenager Guido Vadala with an option to buy him for 9.4 million euros and also first choice to sign three other young players.
“I‘m returning in my prime, really that’s now. At 26 or 27 I was fatter than anyone. I feel better than ever, physically and mentally,” the 31-year-old told a news conference after signing his contract.
Tevez will wear the number 10 shirt previously worn by Diego Maradona and Juan Roman Riquelme.
“Riquelme is one of the greatest, an idol of the club,” Tevez said. “I‘m not here to better him, I‘m here to write my own history.”
Boca went top of the table with a 1-0 win at Sarmiento on Sunday, a point ahead of San Lorenzo and three in front of River Plate.
Tevez, who missed the resumption of the championship because he was on holiday after playing for Argentina at the Copa America, said he would train all week to be ready for his comeback in next weekend’s home match against Quilmes.
San Lorenzo drew 1-1 at Union and River were also held 1-1 by Temperley at El Monumental as they rested first choice players for Tuesday’s first leg of their Libertadores Cup semi-final against Guarani of Paraguay.
Sunday was also a good day for former Argentina defender Gabriel Heinze, who made his coaching debut with Godoy Cruz in a 3-0 home win over Crucero del Norte in Mendoza.
Another coach Mauricio Pellegrino began his tenure at Independiente with a 3-1 home victory over Olimpo.
($1 = 0.9086 euros)
Writing by Rex Gowar; editing by Amlan Chakraborty/Andrew Both