Whatever Happened to Fernando Torres?

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By George Hopkin on 12.2.2024

Whatever Happened to Fernando Torres?

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After moving to Liverpool from his boyhood club Athletico Madrid in the summer of 2007, Spanish hotshot, Fernando Torres, was quickly heralded as one of the supreme strikers in the English Premier League. However, since joining Chelsea in January 2010, the striker has consistently underperformed.

Having scored 75 goals in 174 top-flight games for Athletico Madrid, the player became hot-property early on in his career. This prompted then Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez, a compatriot of Torres, to bring the Spanish international striker to England for an undisclosed fee, believed to be a club-record amount of approximately over £20,000,000, plus Liverpool player Luis Garcia.

Torres’ time on Merseyside wasn’t entirely happy sailing though, and despite netting 81 goals in 142 games for the Anfield club, his form and fitness began to decline towards the end of his Liverpool stay. The player nicknamed ‘El Nino’, for his early prominence as a goalscorer in the Spanish league, has seemed to struggle with fitness since 2008, and this could be a major reason for his fall.

Even in the glory tournaments of the Spanish national side (at Austria and Switzerland’s joint-hosting of EURO 2008 and the 2010 World Cup in South Africa), the forward failed to consistently impress, and always seemed to be below the top pace of the game. Though he was man-of-the-match and scored the winning goal when Spain overcame Germany in the final of EURO 2008, his goal-scoring record at international level is not on a par with his respective records at Madrid and Liverpool, scoring 27 international goals in 91 games.

As aforementioned, the player seemed to drop from 2008 onwards. He used to be about combining pace and strength, preying on defenders on the backline and being ready to trick them when a forward ball was played; he could also score great solo goals, and was a danger in any game.

What he suffered, though, seems to have set back his development by some distance. Injuries began to hit him from the start of the 2008-09 season, and the Spaniard picked up hamstring, ankle, and knee complaints over the next two years. These setbacks meant that he was in and out of club and international football, and couldn’t get a good run together.

Since joining Chelsea, Torres has phenomenally underperformed. Bearing in mind that he joined the club for an English record fee of £50,000,000, an enormous sum of money in any sport, he was widely expected to rejuvenate an ageing side, and fire the Blues back to their Mourinho-era glory days. Owner Roman Abramovich, and Blues fans too, must have hoped that the player could lead the club to a first Champions League title.

His record at Chelsea thus far, however, has been nothing short of atrocious. It took the player 14 games to score his first (and only) goal for the club last season, and this football year he has only been able to achieve another 4 in 27 games in all competitions. If you were to work out his cost per goal, in terms of his transfer fee, you would come to the figure of £10,000,000 for each one. That’s an awful stat for any sportsman.

Now Andre Villas-Boas coaches Torres, and the Portuguese seems to have full faith in the player’s ability and potential. In a recent interview ‘AVB’ declared that he is ‘not just looking for Fernando the goalscorer’, but for ‘Fernando the player’. Under the guidance of a patient and faithful boss, Torres’ prospects of regaining his former levels of form and fame seem to be realistic.

Chelsea now sit precariously in 5th position in the Premier League, 10 points behind 3rd placed Tottenham Hotspur and one point ahead of 6th placed Newcastle United. Torres’ talent is wanted now more than ever, especially if Villas-Boas and co. are to launch a late charge for honours. It may be too late for a title challenge, with the blues now 17 points behind league-leaders Manchester City, but the club is still competing for the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. If Chelsea were to somehow win the ultimate European club competition, their domestic form would surely be forgiven.

It is not at all too late for Fernando Torres to regain control of his career and to reclaim his position as one of Europe’s preeminent goalscorers. Torres is no doubt looking to resurrect his dismal season, and with the 27 year old Spaniard getting a good run of injury-free games under the guidance of a manager that supports him through everything, he has a platform now to succeed again. He could yet confound all of his critics.



Comments

  • I agree with this except I don’t think he will ever regain his form.

    Being part of the Spain squad that one the world cup without scoring a single goal (Despite starting most games) has disgraced him.

    He needs a loan to League 2/ League 1 to regain his confidence

    By Seb Jeffery on 15.2.2024

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