Carlos Tevez said he does not believe that Lionel Messi vetoed his selection for Argentina's 2014 World Cup squad, saying that the Barcelona forward "would never tell a coach" who to pick, and also praised former Manchester United teammate Paul Scholes.
Tevez, 31, missed out on Alejandro Sabella's 23-man squad for last summer's tournament in Brazil despite a successful season with Serie A champions Juventus, with Argentina eventually losing the final to Germany.
The striker failed to appear for the Albiceleste after Sabella's appointment in 2011, but made his return last November under new coach Gerardo Martino.
Tevez has repeatedly denied having a feud with Messi, and when asked by El Pais why the Argentina captain "vetoed" his selection for the national side, Tevez responded: "That's journalist commentary... In Argentina they speak a lot of Messi or Tevez, one or the other. But we have always gotten along, on and off the pitch.
"Messi would never tell a coach who he has to play or not. I think he not only lacks the power to do that but also is not humanly capable of saying that."
The 31-year-old admits that the last time he cried over football was "[last] summer when we were shut out of the World Cup," but was not hurt by having to watch the tournament as a mere spectator, adding: "I never felt I was part of the group. Now I do feel part of it."
The Argentine striker also revealed that while he is honoured to be playing in the same side as Andrea Pirlo, the greatest passer he has ever played alongside is a former Old Trafford teammate.
"It gives me great pleasure to be able to say: 'I have played with Pirlo,'" the striker said, but when asked who the best passer was, he replied: "Paul Scholes."
Tevez, who began his career with Boca Juniors and then played for Corinthians in Brazil, had spent the bulk of his career in the Premier League, playing for West Ham, Manchester United and Manchester City, before joining Juve in 2013.
"The training is very different from England, Brazil and Argentina," he said. "Here they are very professional, they live because of and for football. In England I was already in my house by noon."
Asked if he felt he had finally found his place at Juve, he replied: "Yes, it is my second home. They have always treated me well, from the president all the way down and they have done everything to make sure I am happy on the pitch.
"I try to return the love with my play. I am enjoying myself a lot, I am at another stage in my life, I feel good and I know what movements I must make on the field."
Asked if he had felt at home during his time in England, he said: "Not much at United because there were so many stars. With City, yes -- it was the place at which I made a mistake and I paid for it."
Tevez had been accused of refusing to come off the substitutes' bench by then City boss Roberto Mancini after a Champions League match against Bayern Munich.
The striker denied that was the case but did not play for the club for several months afterwards, and he said he had considered quitting the game during his absence.
"Yes, when I fought with Mancini, yes, I did," he said.
Tevez has said during his exile that he had "received registered letters every day" from the club while the doctors would say he was "healthy but refusing to train," and he said of that period: "It was bad. I was all the time receiving documented letters from the club. It was not easy."
He said that he was now more "mature," as well as "more professional and a better scorer," and said his game had come a long way since he joined United at the age of 23, having moved on from the type of playground football he had relied on as a youth.
"I'm a different player on the pitch," he said. "In the past I would just steal the ball and play like I was on the dirt fields of my childhood. Nowadays I'm playing better football and there's a difference. I grew up a lot but I still have that dirt-field essence from my past. Sometimes that part surfaces on the pitch. Did you see the goal I scored against Parma? That was a dirt-field goal. "