Carlos Tevez walked away from £650,000 wage only to miss the World Cup

Carlos Tevez admitted ‘age is catching up with me’ as he explained how his decision to walk away from a £650,000-a-week contract in China backfired.

Tevez became the highest-earning footballer in the world when he joined Shanghai Shenhua in December 2016, but he left the Chinese Super League little over a year later when he joined Boca Juniors for a third time.

His decision to rejoin Boca was motivated by a desire to prove he could still be competitive at a higher level in the hope that his performances would earn him a place in Argentina’s World Cup squad for Russia 2018.

But the 34-year-old suffered an injury which derailed his attempt to impress Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli, who eventually went with Gonzalo Higuain, Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Paulo Dybala as the four strikers in his 23-man squad.

Tevez, who took a huge paycut to join Boca, said: ‘I expected to be in the World Cup.

‘I had returned to Boca from China because of that, but then I had a muscular injury and I understood I would not succeed.

‘I feel that age is catching up with me. Recovery is getting slower and slower.

‘Not everyone can go to the World Cup, right? Look at Mauro Icardi.’

Icardi scored 29 goals for Inter Milan in an excellent 2018-19 campaign but still missed out on a place in Sampaoli’s final party.