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Фернандо Торрес / Fernando Torres


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Вы здесь » Фернандо Торрес / Fernando Torres » Биография Фернандо Торреса » English football (Liverpool and Chelsea. European and World Champion)

English football (Liverpool and Chelsea. European and World Champion)

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It was not an easy decision for me to make back in 2007. In fact, the decision actually turned out to be the most important one of my life so far. The offer from Liverpool to challenge the best was enough for me to finally decide to leave behind the club where I had spent the last twelve years, including seven spent in Atletico’s first team. My best memories from childhood are bathed in red and white, but I needed a change. I was very close to becoming part of a great project, a dream possibility. At the time of making the decision I was confident that I made the right choice. Looking back over the last few months, this view has been strengthened. Atletico Madrid needed to live without Torres, and Torres needed to leave Atletico. Things are working out for both of us, and that is great news.


Events on the pitch at Atletico Madrid were no better than last year. On the final day of the season we missed out on a place in Europe, a position we had defended throughout most of the year. Once again I went off on holiday feeling that we had not achieved the objectives. All the hard work we had put in from September disappeared in the blink of an eye.

Summer began as normal with time to rest and look back, but a phone call changed everything. Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez wanted me to form part of his new project. It was late afternoon and he caught me out walking the dogs! When the phone rang, I saw that it was a number from abroad. I didn’t answer. The next day I received another call, this time I picked-up the phone. When I heard Rafa’s voice, I frooze. I was not expecting a call from him. He explained to me his plans and ideas, and I replied that he should speak to the owner of Atletico Madrid, Miguel Angel Gil. There wouldn’t be any problems as long as the clubs could reach an agreement. From that moment on, I felt that this was not just any offer. A great club, the most successful in English football, was asking for me, when they could have gone after any world class striker.

I arrived at Anfield after saying goodbye to the fans, team-mates and employees at Atletico Madrid. I thanked them for how well they had treated me during my time there. Everything was new at Liverpool and it was an exciting prospect; my official presentation at the club, the first few training sessions at Melwood, the preseason at Switzerland and Austria… my first goal for the Reds and my first matches in the Premier League, Champions League and the Carling Cup. I have a very fond memory of my first Premiership goal. It was scored at Anfield against Chelsea. It was without doubt one of my best moments so far in my career. It was my debut in front of our fans, and things could not have turned out any better. In our first good attack, Steve Gerrard played me in with a great ball which I duly collected and put past the Chelsea keeper.


I have always enjoyed English football. I had watched quite a lot of games at home and I always thought that I could fit in quite well with the pace and the intensity of the football played there. The pace of the game was actually a lot quicker than I could ever have imagined.


Everything has gone really smoothly! To play for Liverpool alongside players like Gerrard, Reina, Mascherano or Carragher, is a dream opportunity and I want to give my all for the club. With the help of my team-mates and the support from the Kop, the goals started to arrive. I was always confident in my ability to do well, but I never thought that everything would work-out so quickly. Life in Liverpool is easy going. There is a lot less media pressure than back in Spain, and the fans also treat players with the upmost respect. The weather is not that bad, and it does not rain as often as many would have you believe. The season is moving on and we will try to meet the objectives set out.

The fans have taken to me as one of their own. The welcome I received from the Kop was as good as it gets. During three of the first five months since arriving, I have been voted the best player by supporters. In another vote held at the end of the year, I was voted the second best player for the whole of 2007, behind Gerrard. The support from fans during the matches is also unbelievable. I felt very proud the first time I heard them sing my name. I was later told that the chant was the same they used for both Dalglish and Fowler, two Liverpool legends. I have been fortunate enough to meet them and they both explained to me exactly what Liverpool means to the fans. To follow in their steps is a beautiful and emotional challenge.





In Vienna we struck gold. There can be no question about it, 2008 has been the best season so far in my career. It was a perfect year, packed full of great moments, with both Liverpool, and with Spain, especially with Spain. The national team won its first major international honour ending a 44 year wait. I had heard about Marcelino’s goal, and it would be a lie if I said that I didn’t want to score a goal just like the one Marcelino scored in the European Championship final against Russia back in 1964. I remember as a kid listening to people talking about that famous strike. Destiny came knocking on my door and I got given the chance to emulate Marcelino. I could never have imagined the joy and happiness I was going to feel when I hailed aloft the trophy.

The Euro 2008 triumph was the icing on the cake. I got my first taste of the Champions League with Liverpool. We missed out on a place in the final after slipping to an extra-time defeat to Chelsea. I couldn’t achieve my objective, but there were many high points on the road to the semis. We knocked-out Inter Milan, and I managed to grab the game’s only goal at the San Siro stadium. The tie against Arsenal also stands-out. It was a rollercoaster two games but we managed to edge them out in extra-time at Anfield. Unfortunately, we failed to lift the Premier League crown. On a personal level, I did quite well. I scored 24 goals, becoming the foreign player with most goals in a debut season in the history of the Premier League.


Following my first few months in England, a period I used to settle in, I came to understand the magnitude of Liverpool FC. It has been an incredible experience. Just to be able to share a dressing room with players like Steve Gerrard- who is by far the best player I have had the fortune to play alongside- or to be given the opportunity to learn from a manager like Rafa Benitez, is something very special. Every aspect of my game has improved: my physical presence, my tactical awareness, my goalscoring… it was a totally new experience for me, full of opportunities to develop alongside some of the best in the game.

I could look back over the season in England happy at what I had achieved on a personal level. It could be described as an unforgettable year. Unbelievably though, the best was still to come. Spain was ready to stand-up to Europe’s finest. The squad had enough quality, we proved that at the 2006 Worlds Cup, but we lacked that little bit of luck a team needs when it comes to the knock-out stages of a tournament. This time lady luck was on our side. We cruised through the group stages with three wins in three. We were through to the last 16, a stumbling block for many a Spain side. Again, this time things were going to be different. We beat Italy after a penalty shoot-out, and from that moment onwards, we knew that we would be difficult to halt.


We beat Russia to set-up a final with one of the most successful country’s on the international football scene, Germany. Before stepping-out onto the Ernst Happel pitch, Luis Aragones told me that I would score two goals. He almost got his prediction spot-on. Xavi played a slide-rule pass, the defender was slightly over confident and I had just enough time to chip the ball over the unrushing keeper. The ball skidded off the surface and the joy was unbelievable when it finally nettled in the back of the net. The game seemed to last forever, and we all know that anything can happen over 90 minutes of football. When the referee blew for full-time all the tension turned into a mixture joy, satisfaction and pride. We are the champions!

I can’t forget the way the year ended. In December, I received the news that I had been voted third in France Football’s Golden Ball awards. It was no surprise to see the main honour falling to Cristiano Ronaldo. You have to take your hat off to him. He had an excellent year. Portugal and Cristiano didn’t have a very successful European Championships, but he won everything there was to win during the first six months of the year. It was a source of great personal satisfaction to have been selected amongst one of the top three players.

The down side of 2008 came towards the end of the year, round about the same time the new season kicked-off. A run of unfortunate muscle injuries plagued my first few months. My appearances for both Spain and Liverpool were hit very hard, and I didn’t really get going again until January. I was to later pick-up an ankle injury and couldn’t play to my best. Injuries however are part and parcel of being a footballer. When you get injured, you just have to put a brave face on.





2009 has been a year of contrasts. It started and ended with some unforgettable moments. Both the FIFA World Player Gala in January, and setting a new club record of 50 league goals in the least number of appearances for Liverpool, stood out the most… but the year also had its fair share of lows. The semi-final loss to the USA in the Confederations Cup in South Africa, and the early exit at the group stages of the Champions League were both blows to morale, and hard pills to swallow.


It’s impossible to describe in words how proud one feels when your fellow colleagues acknowledge your achievements and work. Not once did it cross my mind that I would arrive for the gala in Zurich to be selected in the top three players in the world. The dream came true thanks to a very good 2008 on an individual level, and with both Liverpool and the Spain national side- as Spain won the European Championships. Cristiano Ronaldo received the most number of votes after enjoying the best season, and Messi deserved his second-placed finish. It was also good to see five Spanish players in the top ten, a clear sign that Spanish football has changed and evolved. We now share the same playing level as the best footballers in the game.


All of the players who won awards at the gala were there thanks to the good work of their teammates. At the end of 2009 another gala took place, and on this occasion I was named in the World Best XI after a vote by the association for European footballers.

The first-half of the season at Liverpool was brilliant. We defeated our main rivals, and some of the victories were achieved at some tough stadiums. Beating Man U at Old Trafford was an unforgettable experience. I was lucky enough to score the opener on what was to be a great afternoon. Despite going 1-0 down, we ran-out 4-1 winners. Our fans were still singing loud and clear half an hour after the game had ended. Manchester United however went onto win the Premier League, with Liverpool finishing runners-up. At no time did we throw in the towel and we fought on to the bitter end.


The second-half of the year wasn't as good. We didn’t start the new Premier League campaign at all well, and the same can be said about our Champions League performances. We failed to get past the group stages- when in previous years we had always made it through to at least the quarter-final stages of the tournament. On a personal note, I put together a good scoring run- topping the league goal charts, but a groin strain put an end to this rich vein of form, and I was forced to sit out for a period of time. I returned to the side in time to help us record a valuable win at Villa Park. I scored a late goal, which back then kept our Champions League dreams alive. The goal also served to help me beat a long-standing club record as I became the fastest player in the history of Liverpool FC to score 50 league goals…a real honour and one of my best achievements so far as a player.


During the month of June we just missed out on the Confederations Cup final. We landed in South Africa as European Champions, and upon our arrival, we were warmly greeted by the locals. Our 1-0 win against Germany in the final at Euro 2008 meant that we were one of the favourites for title. I hadn’t expected so much warmth from the people of South Africa, especially on our first day. It's incredible to think that so far away from Spain and England there are people who admire your achievements and work. Out on the pitch things didn't quite go as planned as we lost to the USA in the semis. It was hard to take on board. We were hurt and upset, but you can always take something positive from a loss. We accepted defeat in the same humble way we celebrate our victories. This positive attitude says a lot about the future of our team.


Вы здесь » Фернандо Торрес / Fernando Torres » Биография Фернандо Торреса » English football (Liverpool and Chelsea. European and World Champion)