Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres
TorresFinale12 cropped.jpgFernando José Torres Sanz (Spanish pronunciation: [ferˈnando ˈtores]; born 20 March 1984), nicknamed El Niño (The Kid in Spanish),[4] is a Spanish footballer who plays as a striker for Chelsea and the Spain national team. Torres started his career with Atlético Madrid, progressing through their youth system to the first team squad. He made his first team debut in 2001 and finished his time at the club having scored 75 goals in 174 La Liga appearances. Prior to his La Liga debut, Torres played two seasons in the Segunda División for Atlético Madrid, making 40 appearances and scoring seven goals.
He joined Premier League club Liverpool in 2007, after signing for a club record transfer fee. He marked his first season at Anfield by being Liverpool's first player since Robbie Fowler in the 1995–96 season to score more than 20 league goals in a season. Torres became the fastest player in Liverpool history to score 50 league goals. He left the club in January 2011 to join Chelsea for a record British transfer fee of £50 million, which made him the most expensive Spanish player in history. In his first full season at Chelsea, he helped the club win the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.
Torres is a Spanish international and made his debut against Portugal in 2003. He has since participated in five major tournaments; UEFA Euro 2004, the 2006 FIFA World Cup, UEFA Euro 2008, the 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012. Torres did not score at Euro 2004, but netted three at the 2006 World Cup. He scored twice at UEFA Euro 2008, including the winning goal for Spain in their 1–0 win over Germany in the Final. He went on to win the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 with Spain, scoring no goals in the former, and scoring three goals in the latter to win the Golden Boot, as part of the historic Spain side which won three consecutive major tournaments.


Early career

Born in Fuenlabrada, Community of Madrid,[5] Torres became interested in football as a child and joined his first team, Parque 84, at the age of five.[2] His father José Torres worked during Torres' childhood, and his mother Flori Sanz travelled daily with him to training sessions.[6] His grandfather was not a passionate football fan, but took pride in being an Atlético Madrid supporter, and Torres inherited his love for the club.[2]
Torres started playing football as a goalkeeper, the position his brother played in.[7] When he was seven years old, however, he started playing regularly as a striker in an indoor league for the neighbourhood club, Mario's Holland,[2] using the characters from the anime Captain Tsubasa as inspiration.[8] Three years later, aged 10, he progressed to an 11-side team, Rayo 13.[9] He scored 55 goals in a season and was one of three Rayo 13 players to earn a trial with Atlético.[9] He impressed the scouts and joined the club's youth system at the age of 11 in 1995.[9]

Club career

Atlético Madrid

Torres arguing with referee Ralf Frubel during a match with Atlético Madrid in July 2006[10]
After progressing through the ranks, Torres won his first important youth title in 1998.[9] Atlético sent an under-15 team to compete in the Nike Cup, in Spain and Europe, to play against youth teams from other clubs; Atlético won the tournament.[9][11] He was later voted the best player in Europe for the age group.[11] In 1999, at the age of 15, Torres signed his first professional contract with Atlético.[9] He spent his first year playing in the youth team and moved onto the participating in the Honor Division when he was 16.[12] The 2000–01 season had started badly, as Torres suffered from a cracked shinbone which kept him out until December.[12] Torres trained with the first team to get prepared for pre-season, but eventually made his debut for the team on 27 May 2001, at Vicente Calderón, against CD Leganés.[12] A week later, he scored his first goal for the club against Albacete Balompié and the season finished with Atlético narrowly missing out on promotion to La Liga.[12]
Atlético were promoted to La Liga at the end of the 2001–02 season, although Torres did not perform well in the season, as he netted only six times in 36 appearances in the Segunda División.[13] Torres' first season in La Liga, 2002–03, was better, however, as he scored 13 goals in 29 appearances, with Atlético finishing in 11th place.[12][13] In July 2003, soon after his takeover of the club, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich had a £28 million bid for Torres rejected by Atlético's board.[14] In the 2003–04 season, his second in La Liga, Torres made further strides, scoring 19 league goals in 35 appearances,[13] meaning he finished as joint third highest scorer in the league.[15] At the age of 19, Torres was named Atlético's captain.[11] Atlético narrowly missed out on qualification for the UEFA Cup, but by finishing in seventh place in the 2003–04 season, they qualified for the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup, giving Torres a first taste of a competition at the European level.[16] He scored two goals in the two fourth round matches against OFK Beograd, with one coming in each leg.[16] Atlético reached the Final, but lost 3–1 on a penalty shoot-out to Villarreal CF following a 2–2 draw on aggregate.[16] FA Premier League champions Chelsea were believed to be interested in signing Torres during the summer of 2005, but Atlético president Enrique Cerezo said that they had "no chance" of signing him.[17] Cerezo later said in January 2006 that the club was willing to listen to offers for Torres, and Torres claimed Newcastle United of the FA Premier League had made a bid to sign him in March.[18][19]
He stated after the 2006 FIFA World Cup that he had turned down an offer to join Chelsea at the end of the 2005–06 season.[20] Torres scored 14 league goals in the 2006–07 season.[13] The English media reported that he was the main transfer target of Premier League Liverpool,[21] but Cerezo stated "We've received no offer from Liverpool or any other club or player".[22] However, a few days later, new reports suggested Atlético had agreed a deal with Liverpool for Torres; the fee was rumoured to be £25 million with Luis García moving to Atlético in a separate transfer deal.[23] On 30 June, Atlético announced a deal to sign Diego Forlán from Villarreal, in what was seen as a move to replace Torres before his departure became official.[24] On 2 July, it was reported that Torres had cut short a vacation to fly back to Madrid to finalise the move to Liverpool.[25] The following day, Torres passed a medical at Liverpool's Melwood training ground.[26] He held a press conference in Madrid on 4 July to bid farewell to the Atlético fans, before completing his move to Liverpool on a six-year contract.[26] The transfer fee was the highest in Liverpool's history.[24] In March 2008, manager Rafael Benítez stated in an interview with The Times that Torres was acquired for around £20 million, although this figure takes into account García's move to Atlético.[27]


2007–08 season

Torres made his competitive debut for Liverpool against Aston Villa in a 2–1 win on 11 August 2007.[28] He made his first appearance in the UEFA Champions League four days past his first performance in a 1–0 victory over Toulouse, after coming on as a 79th minute substitute.[29] His first Premier League goal came on his Anfield debut on 19 August 2007, in the 16th minute in a 1–1 draw against Chelsea.[30] His first hat-trick came in a 4–2 victory over Reading in the League Cup on 25 September 2007, with all of his goals coming in the second half.[31] His first goals in the Champions League came on his third appearance in the competition as Liverpool beat Porto 4–1 on 28 November 2007, as he scored twice.[32]
Torres playing for Liverpool against Middlesbrough on 23 February 2008, against whom he scored a hat-trick
He was named the Premier League Player of the Month for February 2008,[33] during which he scored four goals in four appearances, including a hat-trick against Middlesbrough on 23 February 2008.[34] This hat-trick and another in a 4–0 victory over West Ham United on 5 March 2008 meant he became the first Liverpool player since Jack Balmer in November 1946 to score a hat-trick in successive home matches.[35] Later in March, after he scored a 47th minute header against Reading at Anfield, becoming the first Liverpool player since Robbie Fowler in the 1995–96 season campaign to score 20 league goals in a season.[36] In April, he scored another Champions League goal, this time against Arsenal in the quarter-final second leg, as Liverpool advanced to the semi-final.[37] This goal took him onto 29 goals for the 2007–08 season in all competitions,[34] eclipsing Michael Owen's personal record for goals in a season.[38] On 11 April 2008, it was announced Torres had made a six-man shortlist for the PFA Players' Player of the Year award,[39] which was eventually won by Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United.[40] The Spanish international was also nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year Award, which was won by Cesc Fàbregas of Arsenal and was named in the PFA Team of the Year.[40] In May, he finished second to Ronaldo for the FWA Footballer of the Year award.[41]
On 4 May 2008, Torres scored a 57th minute winner against Manchester City, which equalled the consecutive Anfield league goal record of eight games set by Roger Hunt.[42] After scoring his 24th league goal in the final game of the season, a 2–0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, he set a new record for the most prolific foreign goal scorer in a debut season in England, eclipsing Ruud van Nistelrooy's 23 goals.[34][43] He ended the season in joint second place with Emmanuel Adebayor in the race for the Premier League golden boot.[44] Torres was subject to 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.[45][46] 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.[47]

2008–09 season

Torres celebreates scoring against Vålerenga Fotball on 5 August 2008
Torres made a scoring start to the 2008–09 Premier League season with a 25 yard shot into the bottom right-hand corner away at Sunderland, which was the only goal in a 1–0 win on 16 August 2008.[48] He suffered a hamstring tear in a 0–0 draw against Aston Villa, which would keep him out for two to three weeks.[49] Torres made his return in a 2–1 victory against Marseille in the Champions League and went on to score two goals in the Merseyside derby against Everton on 27 September 2008 to give Liverpool a 2–0 win.[50][51] He followed this up with another two goals the following weekend against Manchester City in a 3–2 win away at the City of Manchester Stadium as Liverpool came back from a two goal deficit.[52] The first of these was the thousandth Liverpool goal to be scored in the Premier League.[53] Torres picked up a hamstring injury during a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifier, meaning he was likely to miss three games for Liverpool.[54] On 22 October 2008, Liverpool played Torres' former club Atlético in the Champions League at the Vicente Calderón, but his injury meant he missed out on the game.[55] The Atlético president, Enrique Cerezo, had given him a VIP invitation to watch the game, but he declined this to continue his rehabilitation from injury in Merseyside.[56] He was named in the FIFPro World XI team for the 2007–08 season on 27 October 2008.[57]
Torres during Liverpool's 3–2 victory against Manchester City on 5 October 2008, in which he scored two goals
Torres made his return for Liverpool on 8 November 2008 after coming on as a 72nd minute substitute in a 3–0 victory against West Bromwich Albion (West Brom).[58] He said he would be interested in returning to former club Atlético eventually, saying "I don't know if I will retire there, but I would like to go back and finish some things that are left to do."[59] He was ruled out of action for two to three weeks following Liverpool's 1–0 victory over Marseille in the Champions League in November, where he picked up a hamstring strain,[60] which was later extended to at least four weeks by specialists.[61] He was named on the shortlist for the FIFA World Player of the Year award in December,[62] and eventually came in third place behind Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.[63] Torres returned to action on 3 January 2009 as a substitute with a goal in the 2–0 win over Preston North End; his first in the FA Cup.[64] He scored two late goals for Liverpool to secure a 2–0 victory over Chelsea on 1 February 2009.[65] Despite having spent a year and a half at the club, Torres was chosen as number 50 in The Times's list of "The 50 greatest Liverpool players", reinforcing the impact he had made at Liverpool in such a short period of time.[66]
Torres faced his old rivals Real Madrid on 10 March 2009 in the Champions League last 16 and due to an ankle injury, he had a painkilling injection before the game to enable him to play.[67] He scored the first goal of the game, which ended as a 4–0 victory, meaning Liverpool progressed to the quarter-finals 5–0 on aggregate.[68] Four days later he lined up against Manchester United at Old Trafford and he scored the equaliser in a game that finished as a 4–1 victory.[69] He was named in the PFA Team of the Year for the second season running in April 2009.[70] Torres scored his 50th goal for Liverpool on 24 May 2009 against Tottenham on the final day of the 2008–09 season, which was his 84th appearance.[71]

2009–10 season

Torres lines up before Liverpool's game against Wigan Athletic on 9 March 2010
Following the end of the season, he agreed a new contract with Liverpool,[72] which he signed on 14 August.[73] By signing this contract, Torres had the option of a one-year extension after the contract's expiration in 2013.[74] Torres scored two goals in a 3–2 win over West Ham United on 19 September 2009, a result that took Liverpool to third in the Premier League.[75] A week later he scored his first hat-trick of the 2009–10 Premier League season in a 6–1 victory over Hull City at Anfield.[76] He was named Premier League Player of the Month for September, after scoring five goals during the month and becoming the Premier League's top goalscorer.[77] On 25 October 2009, he scored the first goal in a 2–0 victory for Liverpool over Manchester United,[78] after which Benítez praised Torres' performance, saying "We were waiting for that final pass. When it came we knew he would score."[79] Torres was named in the FIFPro World XI for the second successive season in December 2009.[80] His stoppage-time winning goal against Aston Villa on 29 December 2009 made him the fastest Liverpool player ever to score 50 league goals.[81] He was substituted on 65 minutes in a 1–1 draw with Birmingham City on 4 April 2010, which Benítez justified by saying Torres was "exhausted".[82] Torres made his last appearance of the season scoring twice in a 4–1 victory over S.L. Benfica in the Europa League on 8 April,[83] and it was announced on 18 April 2010 that he would miss the rest of the season to undergo knee surgery.[84] This meant that Torres finished the season with 22 goals in 32 games in all competitions, finishing as Liverpool's top scorer for the second time.[83]

2010–11 season

Following Roy Hodgson's appointment as Liverpool manager he stated that Torres would not be sold by the club, saying "He is not for sale and we don't welcome any offers for him. We want to keep him."[85] Hodgson dismissed reports Torres was set to leave Liverpool by saying "He has told us that he is looking forward to Monday, to getting back to work and looking forward to playing for Liverpool next season. That is what I know so other reports, I would suggest, are erroneous."[86] Torres stated his commitment to Liverpool on 3 August, saying "My commitment and loyalty to the club and to the fans is the same as it was on my first day when I signed."[87]
Torres in Liverpool away colours in a UEFA Europa League match against FC Utrecht on 30 September 2010
He made his first appearance of the 2010–11 season in the opening game, a 1–1 draw with Arsenal on 14 August 2010, entering the game as a substitute in the 74th minute.[88] He scored his first goal of the season with the winner in a 1–0 victory over West Brom on 29 August 2010,[89] which was his 50th goal at Anfield in all competitions.[90] Torres scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory at home to Blackburn Rovers on 24 October 2010, which was his first goal since August.[91] He scored his final goals for Liverpool in a 3–0 win away at Wolverhampton Wanderers on 22 January 2011.[92]


On 27 January 2011, Torres was the subject of a £40 million bid from Chelsea, which was rejected by Liverpool.[93] He subsequently handed in an official transfer request to Liverpool the next day, which was rejected.[94] Torres completed his move to Chelsea on a five-and-a-half-year contract on 31 January 2011 for an undisclosed fee reported to be £50 million, which set a new record for a British transfer and made him the sixth most expensive footballer in history.[95] He made his Chelsea debut on 6 February 2011 in a 1–0 home defeat to former club Liverpool.[96] On 23 April 2011, Torres scored his first goal for Chelsea against West Ham United in a 3–0 victory, which ended a run of 903 minutes of football without a goal.[97]

2011–12 season

Torres playing for Chelsea against Arsenal on 21 April 2012
Torres got the 2011–12 season underway in Chelsea's 0–0 draw away against Stoke City on 14 August 2011, in which his "link-up play was sharp, plus he was willing to make intelligent runs into space to receive the ball".[98] He scored his second goal at Chelsea, and his first of the season, on 18 September 2011, during an away game against Manchester United, which was the side's only goal in a 3–1 defeat.[99] He scored his second goal of the season at home to Swansea City in a 4–1 victory.[100] However, 10 minutes after his goal, a two-footed challenge on Mark Gower resulted in his first red card in English football and a three-match domestic suspension.[101][102] On 19 October 2011, Torres scored two goals in a 5–0 victory against Genk in the Champions League, his first in Europe since the quarter-final of the 2008–09 Champions League with his old club Liverpool, against Chelsea.[103] His next Chelsea goals came after scoring twice and also assisting two others against Championship side Leicester City in an FA Cup quarter-final on 18 March 2012, ending a goal drought that stretched 24 games.[104] On 31 March 2012, Torres scored his first Premier League goal since 24 September 2011 against Aston Villa in a 4–2 away win.[105]
Torres came on as a substitute for Didier Drogba on 24 April 2012 to score a last-minute goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, which gave Chelsea a 2–2 draw, and also eliminated Barcelona from the tournament, as Chelsea won 3–2 on aggregate.[106] He scored the first hat-trick of his Chelsea career in a 6–1 win against Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge on 29 April 2012.[107] Torres came on in the second half of the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final on 19 May 2012, directly after Bayern Munich's opening goal, and following a 1–1 draw after extra time Chelsea won the penalty shoot-out 4–3.[108]

2012–13 season

Torres started the 2012–13 season in the 2012 FA Community Shield against Manchester City at Villa Park, where he scored the opening goal, as Chelsea lost 3–2.[109] On 19 August 2012, he appeared in Chelsea's first league match in a 2–0 away win against Wigan Athletic.[110] Torres scored his first goal of the season in Chelsea's next match on 22 August 2012, a 4–2 home win against Reading, scoring the third goal to give his side the lead.[111] He was sent off for diving against Manchester United on 28 October, leaving Chelsea with nine men after teammate Branislav Ivanovic was also sent off; the team went on to lose 3–2.[112] The Spaniard scored his first goal in the Champions League for the season after deflecting Shakhtar Donetsk goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov's clearance into goal, as Chelsea needed a 94th minute winner from Victor Moses to secure a 3–2 victory on 7 November 2012.[113]
Torres ended a goal drought that stretched over 11 hours of game time with two goals in Chelsea's 6–1 defeat of FC Nordsjælland on 5 December 2012.[114] Three days later Torres scored another two goals, ending a run of eight Premier League games without a goal, as Chelsea defeated Sunderland 3–1.[115]

International career

In February 2001, Torres won the Algarve Tournament with the Spain national under-16 team.[116] The under-16s took part in the 2001 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship in May, which they also won, with Torres scoring the only goal in the Final, as well as finishing as the tournament's leading scorer, and was also named the player of the tournament.[11][13] In September 2001, Torres represented the under-17 team at the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship, but the team failed to progress through the group stage.[13] In July 2002, he won the 2002 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship with the under-19 team and was again the only goalscorer in the Final.[11] Also, he finished as top scorer and was named player of the tournament.[13]
We complement each other very well. We get on well on the pitch and very well off it too. We're a good partnership. We both chase down defenders, put pressure on and fight to create chances for each other.
David Villa, speaking about Torres[117]
Torres made his debut for the senior team on 6 September 2003 in a friendly against Portugal.[13] His first goal for Spain came against Italy on 28 April 2004.[13] He was selected for the Spanish squad for UEFA Euro 2004.[13] After appearing as a late substitute in Spain's first two group games, he started for the deciding game against Portugal.[13] Spain were losing 1–0 and, towards the end of the game, he hit the post.[13]
Torres celebrating victory with Spain at UEFA Euro 2008
He scored seven goals in 11 appearances in qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup,[118] making him Spain's top scorer for qualification, including a vital two goals against Belgium and his first international hat-trick against San Marino.[13] 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.[119] 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.[120] With three goals, he finished the tournament as Spain's top scorer along with fellow striker David Villa.[121]
Torres scoring his goal against Sweden at UEFA Euro 2008
He was called up for Spain's UEFA Euro 2008 squad,[122] where he set up Villa to score Spain's first goal of the tournament in the first game in the group stage against Russia.[123] Torres came under criticism for apparently refusing to shake the hand of Spanish manager, Luis Aragonés, after being substituted.[124] He subsequently denied being angry with the coaching, saying that he was actually "irritated with himself".[124] He scored his first goal of the tournament in Spain's next game, a 2–1 win over Sweden.[125] Torres scored the winner and was named the man of the match in the Final against Germany in a 1–0 victory.[126][127] He said "It's just a dream come true. This is my first title and I hope it's the first of many. Victory in a Euro, it is almost as big as a World Cup. We are used to watching finals on television, but today we were here and we won. My job is to score goals. I want to win more titles and be the most important player in Europe and the world."[128] He was later named as a striker along with his striking partner Villa in the Team of the Tournament.[129]
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.[130] He was named in Spain's team for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in June.[131] He scored his second hat-trick for Spain after 17 minutes into a Confederations Cup game against New Zealand on 14 June,[132] thus recording the fastest hat-trick by a player for Spain.[133] He played for Spain as they were defeated 2–0 by the United States in the semi-final,[134] as well as the third-place play-off, which Spain won 3–2 against South Africa after extra time.[135]
Torres celebrates with Spain after winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Plaza de España on 12 July 2010
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.[84] Although still out injured, Torres was selected for Spain's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad in May.[136] On 8 June, Torres made his first appearance on the field in exactly two months, coming on as a substitute on 66 minutes against Poland in a pre-World Cup friendly.[136] 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.[137] 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.[138] 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.[139]
Torres celebrating with Spanish team-mates Juan Mata and Sergio Ramos after winning UEFA Euro 2012
Torres was selected in Del Bosque's UEFA Euro 2012 squad. In his first start of the tournament he netted two goals as Spain defeated the Republic of Ireland 4–0 to knock them out of the tournament.[140] In the Final of Euro 2012, Torres came on as a substitute against Italy, scoring one goal and assisting another, as Spain won a second consecutive Euopean Championship with a 4–0 victory.[141] This secured him the Golden Boot for the tournament with three goals and one assist, having played fewer minutes than Mario Gómez, who also had three goals and one assist.[142]
Torres won his 100th cap against Saudi Arabia, making him the sixth highest capped player for Spain, and started the game as captain.

Personal life

Torres' parents are José and Flori, and he has two older siblings, Israel (born 1977) and Maria Paz (born 1976).[143] He married Olalla Domínguez Liste, with whom he had been in a relationship since 2001, on 27 May 2009 in a private ceremony with just two guests at the local town hall in El Escorial, Madrid.[144][145] They had been an item for eight years and are thought to have met in the Galician seaside town of Estorde, where Torres would go on family holidays each year to escape the Spanish capital.[146] The couple have two children, a daughter, Nora, born on 8 July 2009 at the Hospital La Rosaleda, in Santiago de Compostela,[147] and a son, Leo, born on 6 December 2010 at Liverpool Women's Hospital, with Torres missing the fixture against Aston Villa at Anfield.[148]
In 2009, it was reported that Torres has a personal fortune of £14 million.[149] He features in the video for "Ya Nada Volverá A Ser Como Antes" by Spanish pop rock group El Canto del Loco,[150] whose singer, Dani Martín, shares a strong friendship with the footballer.[151] He makes a cameo appearance in the 2005 comedy film Torrente 3: El protector.[152] In 2009, he released an autobiography entitled Torres: El Niño: My Story.[153]

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