Fernando Torres: A Biography of One of Spain’s Greatest Ever Strikers

There was a time when Fernando Torres was the most feared striker on the planet. In his first two seasons at Liverpool, the former Atletico Madrid player scored 50 goals and regularly made the world’s best defenders like Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic look like amateurs. Between 2007 and 2009, El Nino also ended his country’s 44-year wait for a trophy, scoring a stunning winner as Spain beat Germany in Vienna to lift the 2008 European Championship. years later, he was heavily involved in preparing for Andres Iniesta’s winner in Johannesberg as they beat the Netherlands in extra time to lift the World Cup for the first time in the country’s history. The Spaniard is heading to the FIFA World Cup later this year and the odds checker, which compares odds and provides free football deals, named La Roja as one of the tournament favourites. It remains to be seen whether they will be able to repeat the exploits of those of Torres and co 12 years ago.

Atlético de Madrid’s youngest captain

Born in Fuenlabrada, Madrid in 1984, Fernando Torres was a childhood Atletico Madrid fan thanks to his grandfather, who was also a proud Atleti fan. After rising through the ranks at Vicente Calderon, Torres broke into the first team in 2001/02, helping the club return to La Liga. In his first season in the Spanish top flight, the 19-year-old scored 13 goals and caught the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs thanks to his pace, size and finishing ability. After this decisive campaign, he was appointed captain of the club, the youngest in its history.

At just 20 years old, Torres would travel to Portugal with his Spanish teammates to compete in Euro 2004. However, the tournament was one of the worst in his country’s history as they crashed out in the group stage. Two years later, he would make amends at the FIFA World Cup in Germany, officially announcing his entry onto the world stage. He scored three goals in the group stage before coming up against a Zinedine Zidane-inspired France in the second round, causing the side to be dropped after a 3-1 loss.

His Liverpool peak

Torres will stay at Madrid until 2007, a total of 91 times in 244 appearances. Then in the summer of 2007, Rafa Benitez would come calling. A reported fee of £34million was enough to bring the striking sensation to Anfield, and it was on Merseyside that the Spanish number nine would really shine.

He announced his arrival in England on his debut against Chelsea by scoring a stunning opener as the two rivals shared the spoils at Anfield. It was a taste of things to come, however. In that blistering debut season, he scored 33 goals in all competitions as the Reds finished fourth in the Premier League. It was in the Champions League, however, that the Spanish striker was at his best, scoring goals against Arsenal, Inter Milan and Chelsea as the Merseysiders bravely retired in the semi-finals.

Over the next three years, Torres was widely regarded as the greatest striker on the planet. In total he scored 81 goals for Liverpool and if not for a series of injuries he would have had many, many more.

Big money move to Chelsea

On transfer deadline day in January 2011, Torres broke the hearts of Reds fans around the world by sealing a £50m move to rivals Chelsea. Kopites will say, however, that karma definitely happened. Chelsea’s new number nine was a shadow of his former self at Stamford Bridge. It took him 18 games and 903 minutes to score his first goal for the club, and it was a common theme throughout his time in London.

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He did, however, win the FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League. On top of that, he managed to win the biggest, the UEFA Champions League. He scored a magnificent equalizer against Barcelona in the semi-finals, the goal that sent Chelsea through to the final, where they would beat Bayern Munich on penalties in their own backyard.

Return to Atletico Madrid and retirement

Torres’ four years at Chelsea were filled with trophies, but no goals. He managed to score just 45 times in 172 games and in the summer of 2014 the pair cut ties. Initially, El Nino joined AC Milan on loan but later returned home to Atletico Madrid where he will spend four more years.

He helped his boyhood club to Europa League glory in 2018 as well as a Champions League final, however, his side were beaten by city rivals Real on penalties at San Siro in Milan.

He added another 38 goals to his Atletico tally before ending his career in Japan with Sagan Tosu in 2019.

Throughout his career, he scored a total of 301 goals. He has also won the World Cup, the European Championship (twice), the Champions League, the Europa League (twice) and the FA Cup.

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