With the semifinal of the UEFA Champions’ League boasting the German and Italian champions alongside the two most valuable clubs in the world, it’s hard to count anyone out at this round of the competition. However, if experts were to crown an underdog from the semifinals it would almost certainly be Italian champion Juventus.
Thus, it came as quite the surprise to fans across the globe when “The Old Lady” took down the reigning European champions in the first leg of their semifinal matchup. While Juventus still have a long way to go before they book their trip to the final in Berlin, the 2-1 victory in Turin has paved the way toward an exciting second leg.
While Juventus are typically regarded as a defensive side, it was their offense that frustrated Madrid, specifically one Argentinian who English Premier League fans will know quite well, Carlos Tevez.
Tevez is an Argentine striker who comes from the notorious “Fuerte Apache” neighborhood of Buenos Aires, which is how he earned the nickname “El Apache,” a feeling central to the toughness of his playing style and the creativity of his attacking play. Following a decorated career with Boca Juniors, the legendary Argentine club, Tevez first moved to Corinthians in Brazil, and later to West Ham United in the English Premier League.
While at West Ham, Tevez cemented his legend, with both his off the field antics and his goal-scoring ability. With seven goals under his belt in his first year in the Premier League, Tevez was poised for a big move, and thus Manchester United swooped in and picked up the young Argentine, where he would go on to score many more goals in the north of England.
While Tevez certainly made an impact with United, their marriage ended abruptly, when Tevez moved to crosstown rival Manchester City for an undisclosed fee.
Tevez thrived at City, scoring 58 goals in 113 appearances for the blue Manchester side, however a rift with Roberto Mancini caused Tevez’s playing time to dwindle, and thus he was transferred to Juventus.
Many Premier League fans believed his best days had passed him and the Argentine would never again score goals at the prolific rate fans had seen in years past.
In his first year with his new club, Tevez made an impact, scoring the third-most goals in Serie A and earning Juve’s player of the year honors. This year, in his second season, “El Apache” has truly returned to form. Tevez currently leads all of Serie A in goals with 20, en route to helping Juve secure their fourth consecutive Scudetto, and now he will help his team fight for the treble, as Juve look to win both the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions’ League.
Tevez’s penalty he won and scored against Real Madrid marks his 50th goal in all competitions for Juventus, an astounding goal scoring record for a man many thought was at the tail end of his career. In Turin, in a slightly removed, attacking midfielder type of role, Tevez had no problem finding space in the Madrid defence and getting meaningful touches on the ball to help Juve score.
If Carlos Tevez can bring this characteristic tenacity to the second leg of this matchup, it’s hard to see a final that doesn’t include Juventus. While fans and experts alike counted out Juventus heading into the semifinal, with the return of “El Apache,” it’s hard to see people counting them out now.