'We could hear guns, people shouting, crying'
Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez has revealed his incredible journey from the poverty and hardship of a Buenos Aires ghetto to the iconic superstardom that he enjoys in the Premier League club.
He also revealed how drugs, murder, gunfire, gangsters, police sirens and broken glass provided the backdrop to his tortuous upbringing in Fort Apache, which is now being made into a film. "When I was a kid, I could never go out alone in the street, it was too dangerous. At night, it was like Beirut.
"We could hear guns, people shouting, crying. Some nights you would hear gunshots and bullets crossing through the window or the wall of your house," The News of the World quoted Tevez, as saying.
Image: Carlos Tevez
'There were dead people on the streets on the way to school'
"You would have to throw yourself to the floor with all your family and the next day it was back to soccer training. In the morning, there were often dead people on the streets on the way to school," he added.
The 25-year-old also recalled how youngsters in his society used to be drug addicts, which forced them into the world of crime.
"I would see guys hanging around high or stoned. Their lives centred around drugs. Others would go out stealing. They called it easy money. They would get up with no money to go back out and steal again," Tevez said.
Image: Carlos Tevez
'I chose to follow my dream'
"A good friend of mine chose a different path and he is not with us any more. He died five years ago. He went out stealing and the police killed him. I had to decide whether to follow them or follow my dream. If you like football, give it all to football it's the best thing that can happen to you," he added.
An Uruguayan movie director Adriano Caetano is now trying to replicate the player's life in a film, called Apache, which is due to begin production early next year.
And, Tevez, who will appear in the movie, will not have to rely on fiction to make this one a success.
Image: Carlos Tevez with his daughter Florencia (right)