i know its another topic but i felt compelled to write it, and show how much i loved him and how much he has destroyed everything.
mods please feel free to move this to general if you want but just bear in mind the length of times its taken me to write this.
why we loved him, why we hate him!
July 2007 seemed like a long time ago, not only was it when we fell in love with Torres but to put into context Hicks and Gillett were still liked! The club was seemingly on enough financial footing to go toe to toe with anyone. A new stadium, debt free club, new players and a bright new dawn was seemingly there for the taking.
All the talk was about who was coming in, for once Hicks and Gillett didn’t disappoint (though where they paid for this is anyones guess). Liverpool were rumoured to have paid anything up to 28m to secure the signing of Spanish striker Fernando Torres.
Torres had been a boyhood Atletico Madrid fan, but a noticeable armband with youll never walk alone on it didn’t go amiss by some eagle eyed soon to be internet terrorists.
Torres had made his debut for Atletico aged 16 at the end of the 2000-1 season. A week later a goal against Albacete was to be the first in a prolific career. Torres career began to take off at the end of the 2001-2 season as Atletico were promoted to La Liga in spain. A goal tally of 6 in the second division was then followed in 2002-3 by 13 in La Liga. Aged just 19 torres scored 19 league goals the following season, by now he was club captain and one of europes up and coming strikers in a team that finished 7th.
Chelsea and Newcastle were rumoured to be sniffing about. A brief feature for Spain in euro 2004 lead to further recognition soon after as Torres banged in 20 goals in 2004-5. A further 13 followed a year later with torres beginning to move Raul out of the international and form a deadly partnership with david villa. Spain disappointingly went out of the world cup in the second round, having again bottled another tournament. Torres scored 3 times. Liverpool were now in the running for him.
One final year at Atletico saw Torres score 15 times and now everyone wanted a piece of the kid. Man united were rumoured to be interested but as I cruised around the Mediterranean enjoying my summer holliers the worlds worst kept secret was unfolding, Torres number 9 at Anfield was no longer a rumour. 20m + put pay to that. It was one of the most exciting transfers in club history.
The first real glimpse of what was to come came on his home debut as torres scored a wonderful individual goal. After making a monkey of Chelsea’s Tal Ben Haim Torres cut in on his weak foot before sliding the ball home from an acute angle making it look oh so easy. The game finished 1-1, a special bond had been formed. At his next home game Torres scored twice in a 6-0 win over Derby County which put Liverpool top of the league. All was well in the world.
Even by this stage of his career Torres was already considered untouchable in the first 11, the over the top reaction to him being rested for 0-0 draws with Portsmouth and Birmingham saw to that. Torres followed this up with his first hattrick for the club in a 4-2 win at Reading in the league cup, despite being battered from pillar to post all match. We had something special. He could use his right foot, left foot, head and he could beat players, whilst over the first 10 yards torres could outpace a rocket. His popularity was skyrocketing.
Torres took his early season tally to 7 with a last minute equalizer versus Spurs but an injury on international duty saw torres miss 2 games and his return against Arsenal lasted until half time. After missing another 3 games which included an 8-0 win over Beşiktaş in the champions league, Torres came off the bench to score in a 2-0 win over Fulham at anfield. Liverpool’s next game in the Champions League saw them beat Porto 4-1 with torres scoring twice, his first two European goals.
Just days later torres was at it again in a 4-0 win over Bolton. A little dink over Bolton keeper Jaaskelainan drew comparsion with Kenny Dalglish’s famous goal against Bruges in 1978. A week later Liverpool lost their first league game at Reading all season. Torres was controversially withdrawn as Liverpool trailed 3-1. Midweek reigned on manager Rafa Benitez’s mind as Torres was subbed late on, but a fresh Fernando was ready for Liverpools must win game in Marseilles in the champions league group stage. The reds had managed just one point from 3 games before recovering to win 2 in a row, another one would be enough and when Torres scored with a superb individual effort inside 10 mins it was already game over. 2-0 up at the time, Liverpool would win 4-0.
Although torres didn’t have much impact the following week in a 1-0 defeat to Man united he was on the scoresheet twice again against Portsmouth (4-1) whilst he scored another superb goal against Derby during the Christmas season in a 2-1 win. A present was ordered for me at the times, Liverpool’s black away strip with torres 9 on the back, i like millions of others had a new idol. Even my young grand nephew got in on the act. He became known as “little torres”. I really wanted him to grow up so much like the real one.
As 2008 kicked off the reds seemed just too far away to win the league but the torres magic kept on flowing. Torres kicked the new year off with goal number 16 of the season in a poor 1-1 home draw with Wigan. A stunning strike at Middlesboro in another 1-1 game only added to his stock but with the club embroiled in ownership struggles a league challenge was proving too much. Manager rafa benitez went to war with the owners refusal to back him, the fans threw their weight behind Benitez and the war would have devastating effects.
Torres again scored in a 3-0 win over Sunderland before the reds surprisingly went out of the fa cup at home to Barnsley. A change in tactics around this time allowed torres to flourish. Instead of the traditional 442, Liverpool kept a flat back 4 with 2 defensive mids thrown in to allow 3 attackers to roam left right and centre. With this Gerrard played in the middle just behind Torres. The effect was devastating at times. Towards the end of the 07-8 season Liverpool began to play some awesome stuff, it was to be a catalyst for the clubs strongest title challenge for years in 2009 but before that torres had some work to do.
$The last 16 of the champions league saw Liverpool tear into Inter Milan winning 2-0 in the home leg. Despite not scoring Torres hounded the Italians all night causing Marco Matterazzi to be sent off for silly fouls, Matterazzi simply couldn’t contain him. A few days later neither could Middlesboro. Torres rifled in a hattrick in a 3-2 win including one 25 yard belter. In Liverpool’s next home game he remarkably did it again. A wonderful volley, a superb piece of close control and finishing and one more for good measure saw Liverpool beat west ham 4-0. The greatest comparison was to come at home to Newcastle as torres shimmied the keeper before dinking in number 2 in a 3 nil win. It reminded many of Pele’s famous dummy and miss for brazil against Uruguay, only difference was torres scored.
Midweek a goal vs inter Milan in the champions league put Liverpool into the quarter final 3-0 on aggregate. The 1-0 even saw inter fans applaud us off the field. Torres crisp volley saw to that. Another header in a 2-1 win over Reading saw Liverpool hold onto 4th, despite their good performances the leagues standard was so high it was all we could do, despite losing just 4 league games all season. Torres ended the month by scoring the winner in a 1-0 over Everton at Anfield.
In the champions league Liverpool faced arsenal and after a 1-1 draw away we repeated the feat again in the league before the second leg of the champions league at anfield. Despite trailing early on the match was again evenly poised at 1-1 when torres took a knockdown from Crouch before unleashing an unholy shot smack bang in the top corner. Liverpool won the eventful match 4-2 on the night to set up a semi final with Chelsea. But before that Torres lashed in his 30th of the season against Blackburn in a 3-1 win.
In the semi final Torres scored in the second leg. With the match finishing 1-1 just like at anfield, Liverpool would narrowly lose 3-2 away to go out. Torres still ended the season well with a goal to beat man city 1-0 at anfield. This is so far the only time i had seen torres live. I had watch on telly away to city earlier in the season. Torres was marked by Richard dunne, dunne did aswell as anyone against him at anfield but in the two games torres got the better of him for a split second only once. The result was a torres goal. It said it all about torres for me, one chance GOAL. The season ended with his 33rd goal of the campaign against spurs. Remarkably not one of his goals was from a penalty or free kick. A year after joining us Torres was said by many to be the worlds best striker. He was the favourite to land the golden boot at euro 2008.
Although the honour would go to david villa, the part torres played shouldn’t be forgotten, indeed when villa couldn’t play the final torres played on his own upfront hounding the german back line into submission as spain beat germany 1-0 o secure their first trophy in almost 50 years. Such was our love for him and the club Spanish contingent some fans celebrated as if Liverpool had won it. So when he came back for 08-9 alongside new strike partner Robbie keane many felt this was the year we would win the title. Torres started it off well with a fine goal in a 1-0 win over sunderland. Normal service resumed.
However around this time torres began to get troubled with hamstring problems, he lasted just 20 mins at aston villa and didn’t feature at all in a 2-1 home win over man united. Liverpool managed fine, the club topped the table for much of the early part of the season. Torres eventually found his form by scoring twice at everton in a 2-0 win reminding everyone just how shit hot he was. During that week a 3-1 champions league win over PSV saw him set up new strike partner Robbie keane for keanes first goal. A glorious partnership beckoned, although torres managed fine on his own as he lead a tremendous comeback the following Sunday as Liverpool came from 2 down to beat man city 3-2 away with torres scoring twice. Around this time yet another international duty related injury had rafa benitez pulling his hair out. Liverpool kept up their title challenge without the injured torres, this included a 1-0 win at Chelsea ending their long unbeaten run at Stamford bridge which put us top of the table. Annoyingly for Nando, he missed both champions league ties with atletico Madrid, his former club and was not even able to attend the away match which he had been given VIP passes for.
A return came with a late sub appearance at home to west brom before a shake down in the league cup at spurs which Liverpool lost although didn’t appear to take over seriously. A sub appearance saw him set up gerrard in a 2-0 win at Bolton with our title challenge steaming along nicely. A full blooded 90 min show against Marseille saw Liverpool qualify from their champions league group but torres had again re-aggravated the hamstring injury of recent times and didn’t feature again for 7 games, league and cup. Despite dropping points against West ham and hull, Liverpool went top of the table going into 2009 thanks to a crushing 5-1 win over Newcastle. Torres then returned in the fa cup scoring late on in a 2-0 win over Preston although he was still someway short of fitness.
Rusty appearances followed against Stoke and Everton but he did set up a fine goal against the latter in the Mersey derby fa cup tie which finished 1-1. During this time manager Rafa Benitez was ridiculed for a rant he directed at man united manager alex ferguson, whilst skipper steven gerrard was arrested for an altercation in a nightclub. As for torres’ new partner Robbie keane 7 goals weren’t enough and just 6 months into his anfield career he rejoined spurs. The injury hit torres was the only striker of recognition at the club with David ngog largely untried.
As Liverpool suddenly looked like falling out of the title picture altogether Torres hauled them back into the race with a brilliant late double to see off Chelsea 2-0 at anfield, remarkably his first goals at anfield for 9 months. A last minute winner at Portsmouth the following week kept us ticking but a draw with man city and defeat at Middlesboro followed. Around this time Benitez was heavily linked with the sack, despite a good start to the season ownership problems kept rearing its head. But before losing to boro, Liverpool had won 1-0 against Real Madrid away despite Torres suffering from rough treatment at the hands of madrids defence.
Torres returned in the home leg as Liverpool turned in a 5 star performance to beat real Madrid 4-0 with torres scoring the opener. It was in my opinion Liverpools finest performance of all time. It could easily have been 10-0. 4 days later Liverpool travelled to man united and despite losing an early goal they stunned the whole league by trashing the manc dickfaces 4-1 with torres scoring the games equalizer. Indeed before the game united lead by 7 points with a game in hand, now they were rattled while nemanja vidic was talked about as player of the year. Torres destroyed that notion in 90 minutes with vidic ending up sent off. Torres had proved himself again. Liverpool began to close on united and got the gap down to one point and briefly lead the table after winning at Fulham. However the season ended potless, Torres scored again against Chelsea at anfield but Liverpool lost 3-1 in the champions league and would lose overall 7-5. Whilst in the league things slipped away after a frantic 4-4 draw with arsenal in which torres scored twice. His last goal on an injury hit season was in the 3-1 win over spurs in which he scored his 50th goal for the club.
So for 2009-10 it seemed things were going in the right direction ownership rows or not. Torres got himself a new 4 year deal with a wage of 110k a week and all was right but when owners tom hicks and George gillett provided no net spending in the transfer window (despite a 30m sale of Alonso) it saw the Liverpool title challenge end before it began. Torres began in fine form scoring in a 4-0 win over stoke, a 1-3 villa defeat and a 3-2 win at Bolton, whilst at west ham two stunners in a 3-2 win put us 3rd. Torres was on fire. Every goal was a love affair, i seriously loved the guy. We all did!
The following week even man united fans felt the need to text me with one going “wow, he truly is the best in the world” this after a hattrick in a 6-1 demolition of hull. Soon though another international duty injury occurred and Liverpools momentum stopped stone dead. They lost 6 of their next 7 ironically only beating man united, a game where an unfit torres tore united apart in a 2-0 win. Even against Fulham torres scored despite the side limping to a 3-1 defeat but it was clear torres was painfully unfit. Hamstring and knee problems restricted game time and before long Liverpool seemed out of the running to even finish 4th whilst their group stage champions league saga was embarrassing with the reds going out with one match to spare.
Torres still had his qualities although few would say Liverpool deserved to win 1-0 at villa with torres scoring a late winner having returned earlier in the month with a goal against wigan . a first half injury against reading in the fa cup again had many pulling their hair out. Liverpool exited that competition. Torres didn’t play for 8 games before returning late on in a 0-0 draw with man city, one of many potential new clubs linked with him. By this stage Liverpool were some way off the coveted 4th spot. Mid march torres still showed his instincts with 2 against Portsmouth in a 4-1 win and followed that with 2 more at home to lille in the europa league. Another goal against united was next even if it couldn’t prevent a 2-1 defeat. Alex ferguson even commented that had torres been fit all season Liverpool could have been fighting his team for 1st.
He took his tally to 7 goals in 4 games with 2 goals against sunderland in a 3-0 win, one of which was the goal of the season as he cut in from the left to fire in a wonderful goal into the top corner. No wonder we loved him. Around this time though his season began to come to a close. Torres was infamously withdrawn against Birmingham, the 1-1 draw was for many the end of any hope of us finishing 4th. Although recent rumours suggest that Benitez started torres amid false reports from team medics which may have been a result of pressure from the club hierarchy, something the manager was quick to attack at many points. Certainly torres showed no signs of injury 4 days later in a 4-1 win over benfica which put Liverpool into the semi final of the europa league. Torres scored twice, the first of which was a beautiful breakaway whilst he again copied the dalglish bruges goal for his second of the tie. Torres would again miss a game with his old club atletico Madrid due to injury and didn’t feature again for the rest of the season. His knee flared up again and in the end he only barely made the world cup squad for spain and looked well short of fitness all tournament eventually losing his place in the starting 11. Torres failed to score a goal all tournament and although he was delighted with the win in the final and a world cup medal, torres again injured his hamstring in the final. However Liverpool fans again celebrated for him and the large contingent at the club as torres was pictured draping a Liverpool scarf around the famous trophy.
When he returned he was one of many players to voice his opinion that universally hated owners hicks and gillett should sell the club. Torres also pledged his immediate future to the club despite the sacking of manager rafa benitez, following a disappointing 7th place finish in the league. Liverpool were not in the champions league and benitez was replaced by Fulham manager roy hodgson. We still had him on board atleast. Season tallies of 33, 17 and 22 despite injuries was nothing short of remarkable. Despite his lack of fitness Torres looked raring to go in the opening day fixture against Arsenal, a late sub appearance in a 1-1 draw. He ended august with his first of the season in a 1-0 win over west brom but some began to wonder of his use. A dreadful start saw us win just one of our first 8 league games. Although by the time we lost at everton the club had finally been sold to John henry with its 360m debt wiped out some were still worried.
Liverpool narrowly avoided administration but lay 19th in the league, although Torres scored in a 2-1 win over Blackburn doubts lingered over the clubs direction on field with Torres being isolated upfront on his own. The squad was weakened with the departures of benayoun, aquilani and Alonso before him due to the lack of money whilst replacements such as jovanovic, cole and konchesky didn’t inspire. Torres’s confidence and mood dawned, he sulked through games. He looked disinterested. Liverpool was in decline.
Early November we saw a glimpse of he of old as Torres fired home a wonderful double to down Chelsea at anfield. The following week though Liverpool’s miserable away form continued as they lost 3-1 to Newcastle with Torres missing a guilt edged chance with the game poised at 1-1. The gloom continued with defeats to the likes of Wolves and Blackburn. With the transfer window open Man city began moving again. However by this time Liverpool dispensed with Roy Hodgson, the hapless manager was gone before he could do any further damage with Liverpool lying in the lower half of the table and an Fa cup date with man united beckoning.
The club was given a huge lift when Kenny Dalglish came in as caretaker and it seemed he could get the best out of torres. He publicly promised it whilst torres promised to see out his contract. Despite losing 1-0 to united, there were signs we had improved, uniteds goal came from a dodgy penalty whilst the reds had to make do without their captain Steven Gerrard who was sent off in the first half. The improvement in service to torres showed at blackpool as he took just 3 mins to get on the scoresheet, although Liverpool ultimately lost. Torres was unlucky not to score in a 2-2draw with everton, hitting the post. He was then back to his tormenting best with 2 goals in a 3-0 win at wolves and had a major hand in the 1-0 win over Fulham. With him looking dangerous things were on the up. The dalglish feel good factor was having an effect whilst the new owners looked like spending money. Luis Suarez of Ajax signed in a 23m deal.
And then it happened, just as news of this broke, the worshipped, talented and loyal torres then handed in a transfer request. Worse still it was to push through a move to Chelsea. He had spat in the fact and stabbed us all in the back. I went to bed and choked on tears, imagine, a man of 28 doing that!
But thats how bad it felt, we could understand if it was real Madrid or Barcelona, maybe even an Italian team, we can see the club has been to hell but when it started to show signs of getting out of it by spending big he walked! Rumours of a 50m get out clause was rife but that was the fee that eventually saw him move to Chelsea. From hero worship that rivalled Dalglish, Fowler and Gerrard, the Spaniard had thrown it all away, i thought of the wonderful boxed shirt my girlfriend bought me when she could have spent it on something else. Something she thoughtfully picked out, my sister buying me torres 9 on the away strip, the torres calendar pics at home, the torres book where he repeatedly lauded the club and its fans and staff, and of course my grand nephew “little torres”.
To see him in the Chelsea shirt is painful, to hear him say hes moved to a big club and there is no level up now is just too much to bear.
The above is long, it has taken me a long long time to write this. But maybe the anger will clear youll see we did enjoy his time here, we did worship him and he restored faith to me in a lot of ways, i thought maybe just maybe loyalty was still in football and it didn’t have to be homegrown.
But Fernando torres over the last week has smashed that to pieces, he has stabbed the club in the back, aswell as its fans. Although i enjoyed every single one of his 80 + goals what he has done in the past week is unforgiveable.
Those memories are sullied and upon finishing this I want to be sick. All the promises and all of this now means nothing. Instead of the brilliance ive described you have left us with memories of your last season, whinging, lack of effort and lies! I want to say thanks but i cant. I don’t know how to finish this, but you did. So like everything you did in the last week Torres, youve ruined this too!
NOW FUCK OFF