MANCHESTER City striker Carlos Tevez last night launched a scathing attack on former team-mate Gary Neville, calling the Manchester United captain a “boot-licker” and an “idiot”.
Neville infuriated Tevez this week by publicly supporting United boss Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to let the Argentinian leave last summer because he did not think him worth the £25m needed to make his loan move permanent.
That price tag did not deter mega-rich City, who snapped up Tevez and were rewarded on Tuesday night when he scored both goals in their Carling Cup semi-final first leg win against United.
Tevez celebrated his first goal by gesturing at Neville to shut his mouth, getting a one-fingered response, and yesterday laid bare his fury during a television interview in his homeland.
“My celebration was directed at Gary Neville. He acted like a complete boot-licker when he said I wasn’t worth £25m, just to suck up to the manager. I don’t know what the hell that idiot is talking about me for,” he said.
“Just as I was running off to celebrate the penalty I had scored, I came across Gary and I said to myself: ‘Shut your trap, keep quiet’. I didn’t go overboard in my celebration and it was directed at Gary, not at Ferguson and not at the fans.
“I think he did the wrong thing because I was his team-mate and I never said anything bad about him. He was saying that Ferguson was right when he said that I wasn’t worth £25m.”
Tevez explained how his City team-mates had fired him up for the derby by showing him Neville’s comments in newspapers.
“I was at lunch with the players in the team hotel and all the papers were laid out,” he said. “My team-mates were asking what I thought. I wondered to myself: what’s the moron talking about me for when I never said anything about him, when there was never any [issue] with us. It was a lack of respect.”
Meanwhile, City have sent striker Jo on loan to Galatsasaray.