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Tevez accepts reserve role at Boca Juniors

Boca Juniors
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Carlos Tevez hints at Boca Juniors exit after being benched

Carlos Tevez said he is ready "to step to the side" after seeing his regular playing time drastically reduced at Boca Juniors.

Boca coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto left Tevez in the stands for Monday's Superliga 0-0 draw at Huracan, having benched the 34-year-old forward in a 2-0 defeat at Estudiantes in the previous round.

The former Manchester United and City forward travelled to Paraguay but is not expected to start against Libertad on Thursday in the Copa Libertadores round of 16 second leg.

"I always had it clear and said it, if I don't help Boca in any position, I will take a step to the side," Tevez told La Red. "The most important thing is the club more than what one wants to play. When I'm no longer useful to Boca, I will leave. I know the rules of the game, I never ask for an explanation when I play or when I am left on the bench."

Tevez said earlier this month he accepted that his role at Boca had changed and he would not be a regular starter. He has featured in one of three league game this season, playing 72 minutes in Boca's opening league win over Talleres Cordoba on Aug. 12.

"People cannot say I've under-performed because I haven't played much," Tevez added. "But I'm ready to play whenever called upon."

Schelotto has relied on Cristian Pavon and Mauro Zarate up front.

Tevez is also expected to face more competition for playing time with striker Dario Benedetto ready to return to play this week after his recovery from an Achilles tendinitis which saw him miss the start of the campaign.

Tevez left Boca in December 2016 for a move to Shanghai Shenhua in China but injuries and a lack of fitness limited him to four goals and five assists in 16 league appearances.

He returned for a third stint at Boca in January, despite having one year left on his contract with Shenhua, and scored three goals and set up two more in 10 starts to help the club win the Superliga title.

Schelotto insists benching Tevez is nothing personal. "There's no problem with Tevez, he understands the situation perfectly," he told La Red ahead of Thursday's game.

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