Date:Thursday January 3 2008
Carlos Tevez explained why he celebrated his winning goal against Birmingham by putting a dummy in his mouth.
The 23-year-old striker's plan was kept in total secret, not even his teammates knew that it was going to happen. He did it to pay homage to his daughter and wife who spent Christmas with him in Manchester but then travelled back to Buenos Aires, thus missing the New Year's Day win over Birmingham.
'The idea behind the dummy was to pay homage to my daughter and to let her and my wife know that my family is still my priority,' the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
'The absence of my family at this time of year is not easy but players have to be professional and in England our obligation is to be on the field at this time of year.
'Nobody else knew I was going to do this. I told my team-mates nothing and even made sure that they could not see what I was doing as I was getting changed.
'I put the dummy in an inside pocket of my shorts and just went out on to the pitch. So it was a surprise to everybody and that was what I wanted.
'Yesterday the image was in all the newspapers in Argentina and that is what I hoped. It means that my family will have seen it and that they will know that I am thinking of them at this time of year when, really, people should be together.'
While this dummy thing has been blown out of proportion - really, no journalist in England ever watches continental football? it's not such a rarity there - there is an interesting note here. I never knew footballer's shorts had inside pockets. None of my shorts have one. Those who sat on the East Stand and saw Tevez celebrating could tell me if he really pulled the dummy out of an inside pocket...
Date:Thursday January 3 2008
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