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Вы здесь » Фернандо Торрес / Fernando Torres » Биография Фернандо Торреса » First team (Professional football and the Spanish National Team)

First team (Professional football and the Spanish National Team)

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At sixteen I began the season playing in the Honour Division and I finished it in the first team. That season was amazing, but from the way it started nobody would have guessed how well it would end. Thanks to a cracked shinbone, and after an operation to put it right, I didn’t start playing until December.



Things started to pick up in February when I won the Algarve Tournament with the National under-16s, in the Algarve. I really wanted to play in the under-16s European Championship which was to be held in England the following May, but it wasn’t going to be easy, me having been injured and not having taken part in the qualifiers. In the end Juan Santiesteban and Armando Ufarte gave me the chance to play.


Right after turning sixteen I played in and won the European under-16 championship. I was top scorer and chosen as Player of the Tournament, the same as had happened at cadet level. One of the most noticeable effects of that tournament was that when I got back to Madrid people would stop me in the street. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before.


After the under-16s championship I played a match with the under-18s, and I also played in the final of the Youth Champions Cup. A few days later Futre called me to tell me I was going to train with the first team, as I was going to be involved in the pre-season preparation and I might as well get integrated into the set-up. That was a Tuesday; the Wednesday I went to training, the Saturday I was in the squad and on Sunday I made my debut in El Calderon against Leganes- the 27th of May 2001.


The following week I scored my first goal, against Albacete, and a few weeks later I suffered my first great professional disappointment when we missed out on promotion to the First Division, on goal difference, after the game against Getafe.

That year I got to know all about success and failure. For me personally it had been a great season, but as a team we had not accomplished our objective, and the disappointment was intense. I’d been in the first team for a month and I’d already been through things which some footballers might not experience in their whole career. And my career had only just begun.
In November I played in the under-17 World Cup, in Trinidad and Tobago. It wasn’t a good experience as far as results on the pitch are concerned, but nonetheless it helped me grow professionally. I began the new season with the first team.




That year we achieved promotion a few weeks before the end of the season, and despite not having had a great year personally, I was very happy that we had reached our goal. Two years previous the club had incurred a great debt to the fans, and we’d paid it back by getting back to the place we never should have left in the first place, the First Division.

In July, 18 by now, I played in the under-19s European Championship in Norway. We arrived with great expectations, we had a good team, even though we did make thing a bit complicated for ourselves by drawing with the Czech Republic. We made up for it with victories over the hosts, Norway, and Slovakia, playing excellent football. We beat the Germans in the final, I was sharp enough and lucky enough to score the winning goal in a game in which both teams played exceptionally. We were champions again, and once again I was both top scorer and Player of the Tournament.


After a year in the Second Division which hadn’t gone too well for me the fans were waiting to see what I’d be capable of in the First Division. It was a good season, I scored thirteen goals and played well all year- especially in the home games against Barcelona and against Deportivo La Coruña. Those two games marked my footballing career, in a way, because after those games the fans really started to believe in me, in my ability.




In the First Division there’s more technique, more space, and that works to the advantage of attractive and spectacular football. Different from the Second Division, where tactical play is more important and many teams often make up for lasck of talent with an excess of toughness. That year I also made my debut with the under-21s, won more sep towards fulfilling my dream of playing for the full National side. With professional success comes recognition, and with this recognition comes fame.


I’m an accessible person. I think signing autographs after a training session is almost a duty, a moral obligation. I’m aware of the enthusiasm and excitement that the fans feel towards me, the respect and affection they have for me. In fact, not long ago I was one of them. Being important to the fans is a source of pride and satisfaction for me. What I don’t like so much is the loss of privacy, not being able to have a good time with friends in a public place like any normal person, which at the end of the day is what I am.



My second season in the First Division was even better than the first. At nineteen years old I made my debut with the National Team, and at twenty I was playing in the European Championship. On top of that I scored twenty league goals, a good total.


Nonetheless there were two big disappointments for me: the first with Atletico de Madrid, in that after having been in the European places for much of the season, we missed out on the last day of the season- despite winning at San Mamés (home of Athletic Bilbao); the second big let-down was the European Championship- I still can’t understand how we didn’t beat Portugal- it was a disaster for all of us that got to me a lot, we had a great chance and I still don’t know how we let it slip away from us.




Things did not go as well as we had hoped for Atletico in the 2004-05 season. Although I played in all the League games, scoring 16 goals, it wasn’t enough to get us into Europe. We even lost in the Cup semi-finals against Osasuna. All our hopes of getting a title for Atletico faded away and we were all dreadfully disappointed.


The season’s positive note was the National Team’s classification for the World Cup in Germany. Although we had some difficulties, we had to play the playoffs against Slovakia and we fulfilled our aim of getting classified.



Atleti made a secure bet to the season 05/06. The club signed a very good coach. Carlos Bianchi won everything with Vélez and Boca, but with us he wasn’t very lucky. The truth is, he didn’t adapt himself to the squad neither the squad adapted to him. That’s why; the first months of the season weren’t good enough. The League was getting very hard. The arrival of Pepe Murcia was like a balm and we overcame winning six consecutives matches. The previous dynamic was dangerous and the new coach gave us enough moral to straighten the way. Pitifully, we didn’t keep that regularity acquired before and we couldn’t achieve the European place.


The nicest face of the season I lived it with the National Team at Germany’s World Cup. Representing my country in the greatest championship of the World and playing against the best players of the world has been for me a dream come true. I suffered the elimination in France’98 and Korea on television, but by the first time I was able to try helping to change history. The motivation of the group was extraordinary and all of us were prepared because we knew it could have been the Spain World Cup.

We overcame the first phase very good. At collective level, the team stood out with good play and goals, while the coach gave me his confidence and I scored three goals. I even leaded the classification of goal scorers after the second round of the championship. At eights to final, we had to compete against one of the strongest teams, France. We did the worst match of the tournament and we had to make the luggage. The experience of a veteran rival affected more than the quality and the courage of our national team. However, I understand that at Germany we built a young team and with quality that I am sure in the future will give a lot of happiness to the supporters.


The performance at the World Cup make people talk about my future. Summer, like always, was spotted of the offers I rejected. Sincerely, several teams were interested formally on me, but we said to all of them I wasn’t moving from Atleti. To demonstrate my faithfulness to my colours of all my life, I decided to accepted the proposal of the team to wide my contract for one more season, until June 2009.

In the season 06/07 we are in European places since the beginning of the League. My wish is to achieve, finally, a European place to play in Europe next campaign. Another of my dreams was gone: not to play the final of the King’s Cup.


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