Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua has come out strongly in defence of Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, who was quoted as saying that Chinese players are “not good” and “won’t be able to compete in 50 years”.
The former Manchester City and Manchester United forward was already coming under fire in China before his latest interview, with Shanghai Shenhua chairman Wu Xiaohui recently admiting that the big-money signing hadn't lived up to expectations.
However, despite the seemingly negative tone of the quotes, the club has now come out strongly to back their star man, claiming that the comments to SFR Sport have been taken out of context.
“The language used by the French media is misleading and cynical, which distorted the meaning of Tevez’s words," Shanghai Shenhua noted in a press release.
“Tevez said he had not watched the video footage of the interview and its subtitles yet, but the headline led us to believe that the interview is being exaggerated and blown out of proportion.
“Tevez’s comments were taken grossly out of context. He has clarified to the club that he has no intention of disparaging Chinese football and Chinese players.
“Tevez was just attempting to paint a realistic picture of the current state of Chinese football. He also hopes for a better future for Chinese football.”
Despite boasting a strikeforce of Tevez and former Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins, Shanghai Shenhua currently sit more than 30 points off the leaders in the CSL were hammered 6-1 by Shanghai SIPG in their last game.