SHANGHAI: Carlos Tevez scored on his Chinese Super League debut for Shanghai Shenhua as he started repaying wages that have reportedly made him the world’s best-paid player.
The former Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus striker struck from the penalty spot and had a hand in two others as Gus Poyet’s team beat Jiangsu Suning 4-0 on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Jiangsu finished second behind Guangzhou Evergrande last year but their horror start to the season was compounded when 50-million-euro signing Alex Teixeira was sent off in second-half injury time.
According to Argentine media, 33-year-old Tevez commands a salary of 38 million euros ($40 million) a year at Shenhua, a figure that would lift him above Cristiano Ronaldo as the world’s highest-paid footballer.
Tevez’s signing in January came just before Chinese football authorities announced a crackdown on “irrational” spending including a cap on transfer fees, wages and the number of foreign players per team.
Poyet said Sunday’s win was the perfect response after Shenhua were dumped out of the AFC Champions League last month in a shock 2-0 home defeat to Brisbane Roar.
“I don’t want to think too much about all the goals we scored,” said the Uruguayan former Sunderland and AEK Athens manager.
“But it proves the ability we have, that we were able to overpower such a strong team like Jiangsu. Now we have proved ourselves I hope the fans can have renewed confidence in us.”
Former Colombian international Giovanni Moreno opened the scoring for Shenhua with a header in the 17th minute when he got on the end of a Tevez cross.
After Tevez’s 36th-minute penalty, Shanghai-born Mao Jianqing made it 3-0 in the 79th minute from close range after being set up by Colombian Fredy Guarin.
Tevez then capped a fine league debut by teeing up Moreno for his second and Shenhua’s fourth with four minutes remaining.
Meanwhile Andre Villas-Boas’s Shanghai SIPG came from behind for an impressive 5-1 win over Changchun Yatai, with their trio of expensive Brazilians running riot.
After going behind to Fan Xiadong’s long-range strike in the 26th minute, Oscar, SIPG’s Asian-record, 60-million-euro signing from Chelsea, won a penalty in the 34th minute which was converted by 55-million-euro man Hulk.
Fellow Brazilian Elkeson then bagged an opening-day hat trick — the first of which was laid on by a sumptuous Oscar backheel — before Wu Lei completed the rout.
Elsewhere, former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paulinho scored both goals as Guangzhou Evergrande began their quest for a seventh straight title with a 2-1 triumph over Beijing Guoan.