Of all the outrageous moments during Carlos Tevez's time in Manchester, perhaps the most surreal came before that derby in April 2012.

Having made his first two starts since September after a lengthy exile sparked by a dramatic row with Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, a player that had never bothered to learn English and didn't give any interviews sat down with the Manchester Evening News ahead of the biggest game of the season to announce that he would in fact be staying for another season.

"I share the same vision as Sheikh Mansour. My relationship with the manager is totally fine, he has been as good as gold with me and there have been absolutely no problems," he said, somehow managing to speak clearly with his tongue lodged so firmly into his cheek.

“He wants to win games and be successful and if I can play a part in helping to do that, then that’s what I will work hard to do.

"Yes, there has been a lot said and written this season but that’s in the past.

"Everybody at the club shares the same goal; Roberto, me, the other players and all the staff.

“I’m an ambitious person, I want to work hard and win things with City.

"That’s all that matters to me as a player and a person.” 

Few believed it at the time - perhaps not even Tevez himself - but while it did in fact play out that way, ultimately the sit down interview was more significant for the days and weeks ahead.

A ferocious character that had refused to be tamed told the fans and the club exactly what they wanted to hear to set up the biggest game in their Premier League history against their biggest and nearest rivals... and a manager that was still spitting feathers about the way that the Argentine had left Old Trafford.

Whatever trouble Tevez got himself into - and it was a lot - his abilities on a football pitch made fans and teammates instantly forget why they were so infuriated by him.

He had wooed the Stretford End even before signing for them in 2007, scoring the goal that kept West Ham up at Old Trafford as the home fans celebrated another league title under Sir Alex Ferguson.

But his move there that summer was as bumpy as all of his arrivals in English football were.

West Ham were hit with a record £5.5m fine by the Premier League - although, controversially, not docked points - for breaching rules over the signings of Tevez and Javier Mascherano that season, then Tevez's agent Kia Joorabchian threatened to take the Hammers to the High Court as he forced through a two-year loan at United.

Carlos Tevez helped keep West Ham up with the winning goal against Manchester United at Old Trafford

Picking up where he left off, the feisty forward instantly settled and formed one of the most formidable frontlines with Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in one of the best teams even seen in English football.

The trio together managed 79 goals and 29 assists in 140 games in all competitions as United married another Premier League title with their second Champions League crown.

Tevez did not show the great affection for the club that his close friend Patrice Evra did, yet that did not stop the Argentina flags being seen at Old Trafford every week as his quality combined with the attitude to leave absolutely nothing on the pitch epitomised everything supporters loved to see from anyone pulling on the famous red jersey.

United were still unstoppable domestically the following season as they picked up a third consecutive league title, and were only denied a third Champions League title by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona.

While the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov had made their attack even more deadly, it had altered the dynamics for Tevez up front.

Tevez was part of an historically good United team

A goal in the Manchester derby in May 2009 showed his continued use to the team though and his celebration in front of the club suits almost dared them not to offer him a contract as he was serenaded from the stands with fans urging Fergie to "sign him up".

Fergie would later claim that United hadn't wanted to sign up Tevez and that the £47m City paid was "incredible" but the player had claimed that a promised offer from United was never forthcoming and the reaction to his unthinkable move across the city showed how much it hurt United and their manager.

Carlos Tevez of Boca Juniors and Nicky Butt of Manchester United in action in 2002

"There are two sides to every story, I understand that and football can be complicated, but I didn’t like it when he was on the banner saying 'Welcome to Manchester' after he signed for City and I told him so," Evra recalled.

"'Carlito'” I said. 'What are you doing? This shirt isn’t you! I have been to your house and you still have a picture of yourself wearing a United shirt near your pool table! You are a Red. You know deep in your heart that you are a Red.'

"We joked a little, we stayed close friends and Mr Ferguson didn’t always like that, especially when he saw us pictured outside a restaurant in a newspaper.

"He didn’t want his players associating with those from City, who were becoming a much stronger team, but I am not just a footballer, I am a man who is loyal to his friends and Carlito was my friend."

A Manchester City FC poster bearing the face of new signing and former Manchester United striker Carlos Tevez

In case it wasn't turbulent enough that Tevez had jumped ship to increasingly noisy neighbours City, the cheeky poster put up by the mischievous Blues in the centre of town welcoming the player to Manchester invoked the wrath of the legendary Reds boss.

"It is like one of those war adverts - Your Country Needs You," he said at the time. "Arrogance comes in lots of different ways. I think it is daft."

"A small club with a small mentality", was another of his scathing reactions on the record, while he also confronted a City member of staff over his mistaken belief in their role in the billboard.

Ferguson ran United like a family, with anyone choosing to leave seen as a betrayal that there was no coming back from, and there was annoyance at Old Trafford at what was seen as City trying to copy them and score cheap victories over them. Having failed to snatch Berbatov the previous year, the Blues nabbed Tevez - and then marked the win with the advertising stunt.

Tevez has a fantastic spell at Old Trafford, but it all ended in tears

However, the manager's anger at Tevez's transfer can also be seen from a sporting sense.

He lost the irreplaceable Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid that same summer, and knew that the Argentine striker would make the newly-rich City far more of a threat to his supremacy than Robinho or anybody else signed by the new ownership.

So it proved as Tevez made good on his initial comment as a City player to win them titles - as well as emphatically switching loyalties to become as popular with Blues as he had been with Reds.

From calling Gary Neville a boot-licker to holding up an RIP Fergie sign during a bus parade, Tevez had no problem whatsoever with firing back at his former employers or teammates when he thought he had been disrespected.

He was equally happy to upset his own base to defend a reputation that he had built up from the vicious streets of Fuerte Apache, most famously done when he spent more than three months of City's title-winning season in Argentina after rowing with Roberto Mancini when he was accused of refusing to warm up.

That volatile streak should not be confused with complete anarchy or disregard though, rather the individual's unwavering loyalty to what he thought was the right thing to do.

He had shown his commitment to teammates a few years earlier when he flew back from compassionate leave in Argentina to line up for City at Stamford Bridge as Wayne Bridge came face to face with John Terry after a personal fallout between the pair engulfed the tabloids.

Tevez gave the Chelsea defender the runaround in a 4-2 win.

Carlos Tevez flew back to make sure John Terry had a day to forget

The players clearly thought there was enough grey in the moral debate over Tevez vs Mancini - a manager who was hardly the most tranquil himself - to welcome the striker back in 2012 when he returned to the squad from his self-imposed exile.

“No-one here sees Carlos as a disruption," said defender Joleon Lescott.

“If we can all get together and push in the same direction I am sure it’s a positive for the club. With us, Carlos has never been an issue, and we are confident that if he does get his chance, he will score a lot of goals,”

And when the club really needed him to put on a united front as they reached boiling point in their title race, so it was that a player that gave no interviews to English media sat down with the M.E.N's Stuart Brennan to toe the party line.

It helped too that he could always be relied upon on the pitch.

There had been plenty of fans furious with his actions that season spending his time on golf courses rather than the training ground, but all those in the away end at Carrow Road that April could do as he cheekily celebrated his hat-trick by swinging an imaginary club at them was laugh.

Carlos Tevez with his golf swing celebration at Norwich

For all their tussles together, Tevez would follow Mancini out of the exit door almost immediately, joining Juventus in the summer of 2013 to end his six-year stint in Manchester and leave a curious legacy.

His role in the phenomenal United side between 2007 and 2009 cannot be ignored, but is sullied by the manner of his departure. Ronaldo's exit was much easier to take both because of the inevitable feel of it and because he was not moving to a club that could hurt or threaten United regularly.

City have signed a great number of players under Sheikh Mansour's ownership that will be remembered more fondly for their contributions - and for not handing in numerous transfer requests during their time at the club - but the importance of Tevez's role as a catalyst for them wrestling control away from United and becoming the dominant force in English football cannot be underestimated.

It was he who skippered them to FA Cup success in 2011, ending a 35-year wait for a major trophy and causing a ticker banner at Old Trafford counting City's years without success - a major source of fury for supporters - to finally be taken down. For all the credit Mancini deserves in the transformation, he could not have clinched that famous first Premier League title for the club without his mercurial forward.

Tevez has a remarkable impact on both Manchester clubs at an exceptional point in their history, and they also left their mark on him. He declared in 2015 that he would always support City in the derby, but last year named the 2008 Champions League win as one of his three best victories in his career.

Loved or loathed, Tevez deserves to always be remembered in Manchester and beyond.