Don’t forget us, Carlos Tevez.

The new Argentinian forward of Juventus FC, Carlos Tevez, celebrates with supporters at the headquarters of Juventus in Turin, Italy, 26 June 2013., ANSA/ALESSANDRO DI MARCO

I vividly remember the first time I saw Carlos Tevez in action. It was the Fall of 2003 during the Intercontinental Cup final played by Boca Juniors and AC Milan (that gained access to that final defeating Juventus in the Champions League final in Manchester). I remember the commentators spending words of praise for a player that was considered a rising star of Argentinian soccer. The career of Carlos has been long and rich of both satisfactions and disappointments. When in the summer 2013 the management of Juventus signed Tevez from Manchester City, only a few, including me, saw that signing as an excellent deal.

There was a lot of skepticism surrounding Tevez when he first landed in Turin: it appeared to be a hot-headed player with a difficult personality and in a  declining phase of his career. The skepticism augmented when Tevez, without hesitation, resolved to wear the number 10 jersey which, no more than two years earlier, was still gloriously sitting on the shoulder of Del Piero and had remained vacant for a year given the enormous responsibility that the number carries along: not just because the 10 in soccer means talent, creativity, and class, but because Del Piero was and still is the record man of Juventus and an undisputed idol and role model for both Juvetus supporters and youth players.

Needless to say, these two past years have proved all the skeptics wrong: Tevez has honored the number ten with dignity, professionalism, and great agonism. A leader and a world class striker. Online, there are hundreds of pages and comments where one can read the great deeds of this player and his immense contribution to the wins of Juventus. I will not linger on that, but I will simply give him a sincere and heart-felt goodbye.

Dear Carlos, you arrived silently and even more quietly you are leaving to go back to “La Bombonera”, the stadium where your legend was born and where thousand of people are waiting to admire your dribbling, skillful shots, and leadership. We will follow you too, in silence, like you lived in Turin these past two years.

In silence we will remember you and we hope you will remember us. Silently the number 10 will move over someone’s else shoulders with one more legend to list has its bearers. Silently the next 10 will have to understand that wearing that number means not prestige, but responsibility, not glory but sacrifice, not individualism but team work. This is the lesson you leave in heritage to the next 10, and we hope the next 10 will be silent and  hard worker as you have been.

Don’t forget us Carlos, you have been part of a short but intense story. Thank you.

In silence, thanks all the people who supported you. In silence, go now and get the jersey that belonged to Maradona and make your people once again proud of you.

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