Carlos Tevez on Maradona tribute: ‘I knew I’d score’

Carlos Tevez has revealed he broke a framed display case to use an old Diego Maradona shirt in Boca Juniors’ 1-0 Copa Libertadores victory over Brazil’s Internacional.

Tevez scored the only goal of the match in Wednesday’s round-of-16 first leg in Porto Alegre and he celebrated by taking off his shirt to reveal a Boca jersey worn by Maradona in 1981, reports Xinhua news agency.

The 36-year-old former Argentina international forward said he had also travelled to Brazil with another Boca shirt worn by Maradona in the 1990s.

“I had to tear up the cases to get the shirts out,” he said. “It was the best way to honour him. With this shirt that I love so much.”

Tevez, who made his professional debut for Boca aged 16 in 2001, said he felt a unique energy while wearing the 1981 jersey.

“The shirt is heavy…When I put it on, something entered my body that I cannot explain. I was relaxed because I felt that a goal would come. Diego is unique. He is God. He is from another planet. I knew I would score a goal. I had a lot of confidence.

The former Manchester City, Manchester United and Juventus star said he had no immediate plans to wash the shirt and did not rule out using it again.

“It’s something very special. You put it on and it gives you another power. I’ll see what I’ll do later. I’ve never felt this.”

Tevez was a key member of Argentina’s national team during Maradona’s spell as Albiceleste’s head coach from 2008 to 2010 and the pair maintained a close relationship thereafter.

He said he also wanted to dedicate Wednesday’s goal to the Maradona family, adding he felt like one of them.

Maradona’s eldest daughter, Dalma, later published a photo of Tevez’s tribute on her Instagram account, along with the words: “Thanks Carlitos Tevez for everything. You are family.”