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Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012

Tevez plans return to Man City after nasty feud with Mancini


BUENOS AIRES — Carlos Tevez says he was ordered around "like a dog" by Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, but the Argentine striker is now ready to return and play for the club again.

News photo
Serious business: Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola speaks at a news conference on Monday in Leverkusen, Germany, prior to Tuesday's Champions League match with Bayer Leverkusen. AP

"I hope I can help City be champions," Tevez told Fox Sports on Monday before his planned return to England.

Tevez has spent nearly three months on unauthorized leave in his native Argentina, continuing a long-running feud with the Premier League leaders that intensified in September when he refused to warm up in a Champions League match at Bayern Munich.

Tevez said Mancini and the club failed to tell the truth about what happened.

He said he was willing to play against Bayern, but was upset at Mancini's tone of voice when he asked him to warm up in the second half. According to Tevez, Mancini was at the time embroiled in an argument with Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko.

"He (Mancini) ordered me like a dog to warm up," Tevez said. "The club never told the truth publicly about what really happened and that's why I was angry."

His anger prompted him "to grab my things and come (to Argentina) without telling the club. I was upset by the situation and needed to be with my family."

But after failing to clinch a move away from City in the January transfer window, Tevez wants to settle his differences with the club.

"I've decided to return for personal reasons and turn around the situation and win over the fans," he said. "They turned on me after what happened with Bayern because they were poorly informed."

Henry can add to legend


LONDON — Primed for a brief flirtation with the Champions League, Thierry Henry could give Arsenal the ideal parting gift by helping the English club to victory over AC Milan in the standout last-16 match in Europe's elite competition this week.

Wednesday's first leg at the San Siro will be Henry's last match in a relatively successful loan spell at Arsenal before he returns to the New York Red Bulls ahead of the new Major League Soccer season.

If the veteran French striker is looking for a perfect way to go, scoring at a ground where he claimed a hat trick for Arsenal against Inter Milan nine years ago wouldn't be too far off the mark.

"He finished the story of the legend in the championship," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said, after seeing Henry snatch a stoppage-time winner against Sunderland in the Premier League on Saturday. "I hope he will add some in the Champions League on Wednesday."

Milan has been eliminated at this stage of the Champions League by English clubs in three of the past four seasons, with Arsenal beating the Italian champions 2-0 at the San Siro in 2008 in its smooth passage into the last eight.

After a hiatus of two months since the end of the group stage, defending champion Barcelona will welcome the return of the Champions League as it prepares for a trip to Bayer Leverkusen.

Barca is struggling to live with a fierce pace set by archrival Real Madrid in the Spanish League, with Jose Mourinho's side 10 points clear at the top and already looking safe bets to reclaim the title.

However with the likes of Argentina maestro Lionel Messi and Spain playmaker Xavi Hernandez on its team, Barcelona still appears the side to beat in Europe as it goes in search of a fourth Champions League title in seven years.

"The Champions League is a prestigious competition, the most prestigious. We'll do everything to win it," Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said.

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