CARLOS TEVEZ admits he is seriously thinking about walking away from football forever.
The Manchester City captain was involved in a furious bust-up with boss Roberto Mancini at half-time during last Sunday's win over Newcastle at Eastlands.
It was the point where a simmering feud between the pair finally boiled over as the two men were pulled apart in the dressing room by players and staff.
The Argentina striker hinted in the summer that he was lacking motivation for the new season but his performances for City have remained strong.
Tevez has played in all his club's Premier League matches this term and has only been rested for a meaningless Europa League tie and the Carling Cup defeat at West Brom.
He feels Mancini, who tried to make light of their row, is over-reliant on him and is unsure how much more punishment his body can withstand.
The former Manchester United star is now thinking about quitting football altogether after admitting he is no longer enjoying his life in the game.
"I have been playing many games this season, and my body is feeling it. I am tired.
"I started to play when I was really young and I have always fought so much but now I'm feeling the effort," he said.
"I'm an old guy now, and I started to think about some stuff.
"For example, I am less tolerant as a person today than I was a few years ago.
"Then I think - what happens if I quit football as long as I am okay in my life?
"When I talk about quitting, I mean quitting football, not just the national team.
When I talk about quitting I mean quitting football not just the national team
"But at the moment I still don't know if this is going to be in one month, one year, three or five years.
"I have the idea of quitting in my mind.
"Maybe one of these days, I will just wake up and say no more football."
Tevez, 26, has been used up front by Mancini this season in preference to Emmanuel Adebayor, who has been largely ignored after making clear his wish to leave City for Serie A.
The discontented Argentine has carried the striking burden in every league match since Craig Bellamy left for Cardiff in August after falling out with Mancini, while both Mario Balotelli and Roque Santa Cruz have struggled for form and fitness.
The signs that all was not well between Tevez and Mancini were apparent in pre-season when the City boss was asked how he would handle the fiery temperament of new signing Aleksandar Kolarov, and replied: "If I can handle Bellamy and Tevez, it won't be a problem."
Those present were not surprised to hear Bellamy spoken of in such terms but were shocked to hear the former Inter manager mention Tevez.
Mancini gave his star player the captaincy before the start of the season and has seen the player respond by scoring five goals in seven league games.
Kolo Toure wore the armband last season but sources inside the club believe Tevez was given the extra responsibility to appease his mood after voicing his disapproval of the Italian's controversial double training sessions.
Tevez has scored 28 goals in 39 League starts since arriving from Old Trafford 15 months ago but couldn't resist verbally laying into Mancini at half-time against Newcastle for what he saw as his manager's negative tactics.
The City boss tried to dismiss the bust-up as "normal" for a dressing room environment in England, but will still be feeling resentful.
Tevez added: "My family but also my body are starting to feel the effort.
"I have worked and fought so hard, and I would love to enjoy my football.
"I have been playing in England for five years, and I have not spent a single Christmas nor New Year with my family.
"Let me tell you I am not enjoying the life of a footballer."