Fernando Torres

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Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres 2.jpg
0Full Name Fernando José
Torres Sanz
0Date of Birth 20 March 1984
0Place of Birth Fuenlabrada, Spain
0Position Striker
0Chelsea career 2011 – 2015
0Debut 6 February 2011
0Games (goals) 172 (45)
0Other clubs Atlético Madrid
Liverpool
Milan (loan)

Fernando Torres is a Spanish striker who formerly played for Chelsea, having signed from Liverpool in January 2011 for a then British record fee of £50m. Torres started his career with Atlético Madrid, and has won both the European Championships and World Cup with the Spanish national side.

On August 29th 2014 it was announced that he was to join AC Milan on a two-year loan; a deal running to the end of his Chelsea contract. In December 2014 it was then announced that he would be transferred permanently to Milan in order to facilitate a loan to his first club, Atlético Madrid. He therefore left Chelsea on January 5th 2015.

Contents

Before Chelsea

Atlético Madrid

A product of the Atlético youth team, Torres signed his first professional contract with the club at the age of 15 [1], after impressing in a European youth tournament (which Atlético won), with Torres subsequently voted the best player in Europe in that age group.[2]

Torres made his debut for Atlético on 27 May 2001, at Vicente Calderón, against CD Leganés, and scored his first goal for the club a week later. The club narrowly missed out on promotion to La Liga at the end of the season, but were promoted the following season, though Torres' contribution was a disappointing 6 goals in 36 league games. The following season the striker's goal to games ratio improved, with his 13 goals in 29 appearances helping to secure a mid-table finish upon his club's return to the top flight. In 2003-04 his 19 goals in 35 appearances showed further improvement, making Torres the third top scorer in La Liga. Torres would also captain Atlético at the age of just 19.

By 2005 Torres' performances had led to attention from English clubs, with Chelsea believed to be interested in signing him. In June 2005 Atlético president Enrique Cerezo confirmed that he had met with Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon, but publicly rejected any prospective bid, and refused to comment upon the nature of the meeting [3]. Six months later however, Cerezo suggested that his club would listen to offers, and following reported interest from Newcastle United, Torres revealed in the summer of 2006 that he had considered an opportunity to join Chelsea; "Last summer it was possible to join Chelsea but finally I decided to be ruled by my heart".[4]

In the summer of 2007 Torres eventually joined Liverpool, signed by his compatriot Rafael Benítez for a club record fee, rumoured to be around £25m including the transfer of Luis García in the opposite direction.

Liverpool

The Spaniard's first Premier League goal came on his Anfield debut on 19 August, in the 16th minute of a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. Torres also scored against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final between the clubs, but could not prevent the Blues winning 4-3 on aggregate. Torres went on to score 33 goals in all competitions, and 24 in the league; becoming Liverpool's first player since Robbie Fowler in the 1995–96 season to score more than 20 league goals in a season. At the end of the season Torres was the subject of media speculation that Chelsea were willing to pay £50 million to sign him but Torres responded by saying it would be "many years" before he left Liverpool.[5] Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks also negated the idea of a transfer, saying he would not allow Torres to leave the club at any price.

Torres was hampered by injury during the 2008-09 season, but still managed to score 17 goals in 38 games, including a late brace against Chelsea at Anfield in a 2-0 win, and the opening goal at Anfield against the Blues in the Champions League quarter-final, though Chelsea came back to win the match 3-1, and eventually progressed 7-5 on aggregate, with Torres missing the second leg due to injury. Injury also limited the Spaniard's appearance during the 2009-10 season, but he finished the season with 22 goals from just 32 appearances, and became the fastest player in Liverpool history to score 50 league goals after scoring against Aston Villa in December 2009.

Following speculation over his future prior to the 2010-11 season, Torres stated that he was committed to Liverpool and was looking forward to working with new manager Roy Hodgson [6]. In November 2010 Torres scored twice against Chelsea at Anfield, sealing a 2-0 win.

On 27 January, Torres was the subject of a £40 million bid from Chelsea, which was rejected by Liverpool.[7] He subsequently handed in an official transfer request to Liverpool the next day, which was rejected. Negotiations between the clubs followed, and Torres completed his move to Chelsea on a five-and-a-half year contract on 31 January for an undisclosed fee reported to be £50 million, which set a new record for a British transfer and made him the fourth most expensive footballer in history.[8]

Chelsea career

2010-11

Torres made his debut against his former club at Stamford Bridge, less than a week after leaving Anfield for west London. The Spaniard was closely marked by his former teammates, and couldn't prevent the Blues losing 1-0. He also started Chelsea's next league game; a 0-0 draw against Fulham, and made his Champions League debut for the Blues eight days later against FC Copenhagen. Having failed to score in the first few appearances of his Chelsea career, pressure mounted on the striker to open his goalscoring account, and he appeared to increasingly lack confidence. Despite his lack of form, Torres was controversially included in the starting lineup ahead of Didier Drogba for the Champions League Quarter Final 2nd Leg against Manchester United, but the gamble backfired; Carlo Ancelotti replacing the Spaniard at half time. Drogba found the net in the second half, but it was not enough to keep the Blues in the competition. Torres then scored his first goal for Chelsea in a 3-0 win against West Ham United in late April, ending a run of 903 minutes without a goal. It was to be the only goal of the season for the Spanish striker, as he struggled to rediscover his best form in his first few months in west London.

2011-12

Torres scoring at Camp Nou
Having started in four out of the five opening matches as Chelsea started the season well, Torres scored his first goal of the campaign in his side's first defeat; a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford. In a very open game new Chelsea manager André Villas-Boas will have considered his side unfortunate to be 3-0 down at half time, and Torres gave Chelsea hope with a smart finish just after the re-start. However, later in the half the Spaniard missed an open goal; a miss that will have further shaken his fragile confidence. Torres scored in the next league game however, opening the scoring in an eventual 4-1 win against Swansea City. However, ten minutes after his goal, just as he seemed re-energised, the striker lunged into a two-footed challenge on the halfway line and was shown a straight red card; his first in English football, resulting in a three match domestic ban. He remained available for selection in the UEFA Champions League, and scored his first European goals for Chelsea in a comfortable 5-0 home win against Genk in mid-October, scoring two early goals as the Blues took control of the match.

The brace against Genk failed to spark a run of goalscoring form however; the Spaniard continued to struggle in front of goal as his side suffered a winter slump that threatened to derail their season. By the end of February the Blues were terminally adrift in the title race and facing elimination in Europe having suffered a 3-1 defeat against Napoli in the Champions League 1st knock-out round 1st leg. In a decision that would turn around Chelsea's season, André Villas-Boas was sacked at the beginning of March, and under interim manager Roberto Di Matteo the team's confidence began to return, as they progressed to the Champions League quarter-finals and the FA Cup semi-finals, having beaten Leicester City 5-2 in the quarter-final of the latter; Torres scoring his first goals since October with two second half strikes. He also found the net in a 4-2 away win against Aston Villa, before scoring the most satisfying goal of his Chelsea career up to that point three and a half weeks later. With Chelsea clinging on to an improbable Champions League semi-final second leg away-goal advantage against Barcelona in Camp Nou, Ashley Cole cleared the ball up field in injury time, finding Torres near the halfway line but still in his own half. With every outfield Barcelona player upfield there were no defenders between the striker and Victor Valdes, and following a deft first touch he raced the length of the half and calmly rounded the Barcelona 'keeper to seal Chelsea's second appearance in European football's showpiece final. With confidence restored, Torres scored his first hat-trick for Chelsea five days later, in a 6-1 thumping of Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge. As had been the case during much of his first 18 months in west London, Torres found himself eclipsed by Didier Drogba as the season reached its climax; the Ivorian making telling contribtions in the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League finals as Chelsea finished the season in remarkable fashion. Torres was an unused substitute in the former, and a late substitute in the latter. Though he had won the World Cup and European Championships with Spain, the two trophies were the first significant honours of the striker's club career.

Statistics

See also: List of Fernando Torres goals
Season Prem FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
2010-11 14 1 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 18 1
2011-12 32 6 6 2 1 0 10 3 0 0 49 11
2012-13 36 8 5 1 4 2 15 9 4 2 64 22
2013-14 28 5 2 0 1 1 9 4 1 1 41 11
Total 110 20 13 3 6 3 38 16 5 3 172 45

Correct as of 31 July 2014

International

Torres represented Spain at every youth level from U15 upwards, and made his debut for the senior Spanish national team on 6 September 2003 in a friendly against Portugal. He scored seven goals in 11 appearances in qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, making him Spain's top scorer for qualification, including a vital two goals against Belgium and his first international hat-trick against San Marino. At his first ever appearance in a FIFA World Cup finals at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Torres scored the final goal in a 4-0 victory over Ukraine with a volley. In the second group match, Torres scored twice against Tunisia, first in the 76th minute to take Spain 2-1 into the lead, and then again from a penalty kick in the 90th. With three goals, he finished the tournament as Spain's top scorer along with fellow striker David Villa.

He was called up for Spain's UEFA Euro 2008 squad, where he set up Villa to score Spain's first goal of the tournament in the first game in the group stage against Russia. He scored his first goal of the tournament in Spain's next game, a 2-1 win over Sweden. Torres scored the winner and was named the man of the match in the Final against Germany in a 1-0 victory.

Torres made his 60th appearance for Spain in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification victory over Turkey on 28 March 2009, becoming the youngest player to reach this milestone. He was named in Spain's team for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June. He scored his second hat-trick for Spain after 17 minutes into a Confederations Cup game against New Zealand on 14 June, thus recording the fastest hat-trick by a player for Spain. He played for Spain as they were defeated 2-0 by the United States in the semi-final, as well as the third-place play-off, which Spain won 3-2 against South Africa after extra time.

Having undergone knee surgery on 18 April 2010, and missed the end of the Premier League season, Torres' rehabilitation and fitness was closely monitored by Spain manager Vicente del Bosque. Although still out injured, Torres was selected for Spain's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad in May. He came on as a substitute on 61 minutes in Spain's opening World Cup game on 16 June, a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland. He started the next two games against Honduras and Chile and although his performances in the group stage were described as below-par, he received backing from manager Vicente del Bosque. Torres came on as a substitute on 105 minutes in the Final as Spain won the FIFA World Cup for the first time following a 1-0 victory over the Netherlands on 11 July 2010.

Career honours

Club

Atlético Madrid
Chelsea

International

Senior

Youth

Contract

Torres' contract expires at the end of the 2015-16 season.

Current Squad
1 Kepa • 2 Rüdiger • 3 Alonso • 4 Fàbregas • 5 Jorginho • 6 Drinkwater • 7 Kanté
• 8 Barkley • 10 Hazard • 11 Pedro • 12 Loftus-Cheek • 13 Caballero • 15 Moses
• 17 Kovacic • 20 Hudson-Odoi • 21 Zappacosta • 22 Willian • 24 Cahill
• 27 Christensen • 28 Azpilicueta• 29 Morata • 30 David Luiz
• 31 Green • 32 Piazon • 33 Emerson • 44 Ampadu
Manager: Maurizio Sarri
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