Fernando Torres – Where is he?

In the summer of 2007 a Spanish Manager signed a 23 year old Spanish Striker nick named El Nino from Atletico Madrid for a club record fee at that time; his name – Fernando Torres.

Fernando Torres - Where is he?

Fernando Torres – Where is he?

Torres was destined to do big things and he did them too. Torres a youth product of Atletico Madrid was part of the team that gained promotion to La Liga. His performance in the top division attracted bigger clubs. The Spaniard was made the club captain at the age of 19. He kept getting better after every season and soon it was well known fact that Torres would leave for a bigger club and the first one to try and purchase him was Chelsea in 2005. Then again after the end of the 2006 World Cup he stated that he turned down Chelsea only to join the 5 years later. His quality was such that he made his debut for the star studded Spanish National Team in 2003 when he was just a 19 year old.

Eventually at the end of the 2006-07 season Torres moved to the previous year Champions League runners up Liverpool for 25 million pounds.

He wore the famous number 9 jersey for the Reds previously worn by club legends like Robbie Fowler. Torres scored his first Premier League goal on his Anfield debut against Chelsea in the 16th minute. Chelsea were one team that Torres always tormented. In his debut season he became the first Liverpool player to score 20 League goals in a season since Robbie Fowler in 1995-96. He went on to score 29 goals that season eclipsing Michael Owen’s record for most goals in a season. Torres was nominated for the FWA Footballer of the Year Award but finished second to Ronaldo. He also broke Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s record of most league goals by a foreigner in a debut season by scoring his 24th goal. Chelsea once again tried to sign the Spaniard and this time the fee was around 50 million pounds. Torres responded to this by saying it would be many years before he left Liverpool.

Torres became an instant fan favorite. His character and attitude summed up with his skill made him an idol worldwide. Steven Gerrard recently said that Torres was one of those players who wouldn’t talk much. Gerrad also said Torres was probably the best player he played with. The reasons are well known as he and Torres made one of the most deadliest strike partnership in Europe.

The following season was filled with injuries for Torres but nevertheless he was nominated for FIFA World Player of the year award. He finished third behind the extremely talented Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Back in those times Torres was a player who could be compared to the likes of these two players. Torres was part of the Euro 2008 squad for Spain. He set up Spain’s first goal of the tournament scored by David Villa. In the next match against Sweden he scored his first goal of the tournament. The highlight of his Euro 2008 campaign came when he scored the only goal and the winner in the final against Germany. He powered his way past Philip Lahm and brilliantly finished from a tight angle. He was adjudged man of the match and Spain lifted their first major trophy in years.

Once again in February 2009 Torres tormented Chelsea with two late goals to give Liverpool a win. On 10th March 2009 Torres played his old rivals Real Madrid in a very famous Champions League encounter. Torres had to be given painkilling injections before the match and he went on to score the first goal in the famous 4-0 win over Madrid. Four days later he started against Manchester United and scored against them too. United captain Nemanja Vidic always had trouble while playing against Torres. Torres made a fool out one of the best defenders today in that match and eventually got him sent off. Vidic was on the receiving end of Torres’s abilities again as he was sent off more than once against Liverpool because of Torres.

The next season despite not playing the full season due to injury treatments Torres finished as Liverpool’s top scorer. The man who signed Torres for Liverpool Rafa Benitez had left Liverpool at the end of the season. Torres had not completely recovered from his injury but was still selected for Spain’s 2010 World Cup Squad. Torres did not score in the tournament. He came on as an extra time substitute against Netherlands in the final and was involved in the build up to the late goal scored by Andres Iniesta. Torres attempted a cross to Iniesta and was intercepted by a Netherlands defender, the ball fell to Cesc Fabregas and he gave a through ball to Iniesta who finished it off. Torres was once again injured after the goal.

The 2010-11 season started with new club manager Roy Hogdson stating that Torres was not for sale. Torres stated that his commitment and loyalty to the club was is still the same as it was the day he signed for the club.

Torres scored his last goals for Liverpool against Wolverhampton Wanderers as he handed in a transfer request to Liverpool. The decision was a shock to Liverpool fans. Cub captain Steven Gerrard tried to convince the Spaniard to stay but his efforts were in vain as the Spaniard left Liverpool for a Premier League record signing of 50 million pounds.

Torres was the fastest Liverpool player to score 50 goals. Shirts with his name were the most sold ones when he was at Liverpool. Liverpool fans labeled their icon “Judas”.

The first match after that controversial transfer for Torres and Chelsea was against his old club Liverpool. Chelsea were title contenders that season but it is not wrong to say that a Fernando Torres in a red jersey and blue jersey cost them the title. Torres had scored twice against Chelsea while playing for Liverpool that season to secure a win. During his debut match at Stamford Bridge his presence on the field had lit the fire inside a struggling Liverpool side. The Liverpool defense were determined not to let Torres score. Eventually Liverpool won the match 1-0 throuh a Raul Meireiles goal and Torres was booed by Liverpool fans when he was taken off. Ever since that move Liverpool and Chelsea have met 6 times and Torres played on five of those occasions and Liverpool have won 4 of them and drawn one most recently on November 11th. Once again Torres was booed of the pitch by Liverpool fans when he was substituted. His only match at Anfield for Chelsea ended in nightmare as Liverpool trashed Chelsea 4-1.

The day started a nightmare for Torres. Torres went 903 minutes without a goal for Chelsea. His first goal finally came against West Ham. In the calendar year 2011 Torres scored more goals for Liverpool in a month than he had scored for Chelsea in 11 months.

Torres started the pre-season for the next season well and his playing style had improved. Then horror came to him once again as he missed an open goal against Manchester United. He got past that incident and scored against Swansea City but was sent off 10 minutes later and received his first ever Red Card in English football. He scored twice in the Champions League but then went without a goal for 24 matches. The new manager Roberto De Matteo preferred Drogba ahead of Torres. Torres’s confidence was drained out even more. He was overlooked for a starting spot in the Champions League Final agains Bayern Munich and instead Ryan Bertand got the nod. Torres was frustrated and he stated that in public. He was even more frustrated when he wasn’t given a chance to take a penalty in the shootout. Despite his poor form Torres was selected for Spain’s Euro 2012 squad mainly because David Villa was injured. Torres was overlooked in the opening match as Spain played a false 9 formation. He started and scored two goals in the match against Ireland. Torres came on as a substitute against Italy in the final and then scored and assisted one. He thereby became the first player to score in two consecutive Euro finals. He was also awarded the Golden Boot.

With Drogba departing and Chelsea signing Eden Hazard and Oscar, Torres was expected to play more games and score too. He scored his first goal in the Community Shield match against City although Chelsea lost the match. Torres has so far scored 7 goals this season in 19 matches but his recent performances has been a thing of concern for Chelsea. He has started all the games for which he was available. His Current Dry spell now extends to 470 minutes.

It is now no surprise that his Chelsea career is drawing close to an end. Chelsea are trying to sign Falcao and if the deal goes through then there is no place for Torres at Chelsea. It is rumored that he might be loaned back to his former club Liverpool or he might go back to his first club Atletico Madrid permanently if Falcao arrives. Torres as fans say can only score when is wearing red something he did for Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Spain.

To see a player of such standards dip so low is a pain. It is not that Torres has not tried but his mind seems to be elsewhere. Maybe he should have never left Liverpool where he was one of the most feared strikers in the world. Maybe a move back there will reignite El Nino.

What will be the conclusion to this Torres Saga? We will have to wait for the January Transfer window for an answer.

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