Whatever happened to Carlos Tevez

The double transfer of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to West Ham United in 2006: On behalf of the third

Completely surprisingly, the English middle-class club West Ham United signed the two Argentinian national players Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano, who were courted all over Europe. The only problem was that the transfers were illegal in this form. In the end, they still served their purpose.

"Don't be ridiculous," said coach Alan Pardew in late summer 2006 to English journalists who had asked him about an alleged imminent transfer of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano to his club West Ham United.

These two 22-year-old world-class footballers, who have just taken part in the World Cup in Germany for Argentina, and in which numerous top European clubs are interested: They should switch to West Ham, who are ninth in the Premier League of the preseason? "That will never happen," said Pardew.

Well, a little later he was standing there grinning a little bit incredulously. Tevez on his right with a West Ham jersey, Mascherano on his left with a West Ham jersey. "This is an incredible coup for the Hammers," they announced in a press release. How could that which could never have happened actually happen?

MSI and the Galacticos plans with the Corinthinas

The story began two years earlier and on another continent, it began in South America. In 2004 the investment fund Media Sports Investment (MSI) invested in the Brazilian top club Corinthians Sao Paulo with a lot of money and big plans. MSI was represented by Kia Joorabchian: Born in Iran, grew up in England and is still active in the football business today, including as a consultant to Philippe Coutinho.

Where MSI got all the money from remained unclear. Rumors include Russian investors and the legendary player agent Pini Zahavi, who now works for Robert Lewandowski, among others. The takeover made the Corinthians probably the richest South American club of all time. "It is our plan to assemble a team of Galacticos from the Corinthians," announced Joorabchian and got to work.

Within a very short time he shattered the South American transfer record and brought striker Tevez from Boca Juniors for 15 million euros and defensive all-rounder Mascherano from River Plate for twelve million euros. The transfers should be worth it: a few months later, the Corinthians were crowned Brazilian champions in 2005.

The title heroes did not even belong to the club, they were officially under contract with MSI or other funds also represented by Joorabchian. Tevez 'rights were with MSI and Just Sports Inc, Mascheranos with Global Soccer Agencies and Mystere Services Ltd. At the time, it was a question of third-party ownership, which was widespread in South America in particular, and which FIFA only banned in 2015.

How Tevez and Mascherano ended up at West Ham United

The initially successful marriage between MSI and the Corinthians soon turned into a crisis: allegations of money laundering became loud, and police investigations followed. Tevez, meanwhile, fell out with the club leadership, refused to continue playing for the Corinthians and pushed for a farewell.

However, changes to the interested European top clubs failed and so he landed at West Ham on the last day of the summer transfer phase 2006 together with his teammate Mascherano. A club with which Joorabchian was well connected - considering buying it a few months earlier on behalf of MSI.

West Ham did not want to provide any information about the transfer fees for Tevez and Mascherano. With good reason. This information would have caused even more astonishment than the transfers themselves: West Ham did not pay any transfer fees. The club merely borrowed the players from the various funds, paid fees and parts of the salaries, and apparently served as a shop window. Tevez and Mascherano should apparently be presented in the best league in the world in order to generate higher income in a later sale than in a direct move from South America to Europe.