Fernando Torres: “I could never abandon Liverpool”
to the second part of the striker’s interview with the Spanish
newspaper ‘Marca’. Fernando Torres talks about the Golden Ball award,
Euro 2008, life with Rafa Benitez, Liverpool’s rivalry with Manchester
United and the rumours surrounding a possible move away from Anfield in
the last summer.
- Do you think that you are in with a chance of winning the Golden Ball award?
There is a clear favourite. There have been very few seasons during
which a player has done so much to deserve the award like Cristiano
Ronaldo did last year.
- …and what about Iker Casillas' chances?
think that this year there is an obvious choice. Ronaldo has won the
toughest domestic league title in football, the Champions League,
scored one of the goals in the final, and was the top goalscorer, both
in the Premier league and in Europe. He’s the player who most deserves
- Do you think that you will one day win the Golden Ball?
lot of things have to converge. Sometimes a player can have a great
season, but they end the year without winning any silverware, and here
the titles count for a lot in the final vote. The most important thing
is to be among the candidates year in year out. For example, Steve
Gerrrad has spent the last eight years in the top six… and that says a
lot about the player.
- How about winning the World Cup?
can’t see myself winning it yet. But I would like to achieve it one
day, and dreaming that it could happen, doesn’t hurt anybody. We are
all looking forward to the World Cup in South Africa. I have some great
memories from the European Championships and I would love to get the
opportunity to experience them all over again. We have to enjoy the
football offered by the current generation of players, and as long as
we continue playing together, anything is possible. We will just have
to wait and see.
- Along with Cristiano Ronaldo, you are
one of the players that the President of Real Madrid would love to
sign. Do you think that you could ever wear the Real Madrid shirt?
have talked about this many times before. I grew up at a club where I
had always dreamed of playing; a club whose colours I wore with pride.
Now if a club like Real Madrid are after you, then there must be
several others who are also probably in the hunt, and if I had a
choice, I would probably choose to play my football elsewhere. The
thought of leaving England, going back to Spain, playing in Italy, or
for playing for another club in England, have not crossed my mind.
- Did you ever receive an offer from the new owner of Manchester City?
football in England maintains many traditional values and the
supporters in general are not big fans of doing things that way. The
owner of Manchester City has received plenty of criticism from the
press for the way he wants to build his team, but Abramovich worked in
a similar way, and things have turned out well for Chelsea. If Man City
manage to bring together a good group of players, they will no doubt be
up there challenging at the top.
- Did you have the chance to sign for Chelsea in the summer?
read a lot of stories in the papers, but I was on international duty at
Euro 2008 and I was concentrating on the job at hand. I don’t know if
they spoke to my club or even with my agent for that matter. And even
if the opportunity came about, I could never abandon Liverpool.
- Is the Premier League Liverpool’s main objective?
When I joined the club everyone was talking about winning the Premier
League, even more than lifting the Champions League. Liverpool have won
the league 19 times, and Manchester United 18, so if Man U win the
title this year, they will equal our record… and that is something that
the fans want to avoid. About 90% of our supporters prefer to win the
- Which team would you most like to beat in the final of the Champions League?
fans would prefer to beat Manchester United. The rivalry between the
two teams is as intense as Real Madrid versus Barcelona, actually…
probably even more so. You can really feel the rivalry, especially as
both teams have experienced similar successes domestically. For a Red,
the most amazing experience would be to defeat Man U in the final.
- What are the reasons behind your amazing development: Rafa Benitez? Your team-mates? Or how the game is played in England?
bit of everything really. The boss wants for all of us to never stop
learning. He is not content with the players just offering what they
can do best, he expects a lot more, he wants us to improve, you adapt
your style to the way the team plays. Rafa Benitez is on top of even
the smallest of details, things that you might never have even
considered doing out on a pitch. Like for example a specific movement
off the ball which might gain you that extra yard, and help you score a
goal. This is an element of the game that no coach has ever tried to
teach me before.
- Would you say that he is the best coach you have ever trained with?
He thinks about football day and night. You can talk to him about
anything, but the conversation normally ends up on football! He’s
young, wants to learn, and has the experience which earned him respect
both at Valencia and at Liverpool. He’s a coach you can learn from, and
a person that every footballer would like to work alongside, because
Rafa gets the best out of you.
- What are the main differences between the football in the Premier League and in the Liga?
two games are played in a totally different way. The Premier League is
much quicker, with less stop-and-start, its end-to-end stuff, and the
ball can reach the opponents box a lot faster and with players having
to come into contact with it far less. When you play away from home in
Spain, the teams in the bottom half of the table normally leave the
grass long, and use every trick in the book to give them an advantage.
You never see that here. There are no tricks and no time-wasting. It’s
all very honest, which makes the referees life a lot easier. The
football played here might come across hard and aggressive, but the
reality is very different.
- What was the secret behind Spain’s Euro 2008 success?
truth is that I don’t know. Luis did a great job of reminding us how
hard it the qualifying stages were for us. We knew that we would win it
when Fabregas scored from the spot against Italy to put us through. I
think that people celebrated that day even more than the victory in the
- What did it mean to you scoring the only goal in the final?
It’s the best thing to have ever happened to me. The goal will stay with me for ever.