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"El Niño strikes - Fernando Torres’ first goal" by Jason Harris

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When an eagle-eyed photographer spied the words 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' on an armband worn by Fernando Torres in an Atletico Madrid game, it appeared destiny that the Spaniard would one day play for the Reds.

 

Liverpool fans were crying out for an iconic figure to lead the line and help take the team to the next level. Their dreams became a reality when Rafa Benitez signed the 23-year-old from his boyhood club for £27 million, which at the time was a club record fee. While Torres was not the finished article when he arrived at the club, he possessed the two things that most top strikers have, power and pace.

 

He also seemed to have a quality that Liverpool fans identify with and that was loyalty. Torres was not short of offers to leave Atletico over the years, however, he stayed with them throughout the tough times until the deal from the Reds was too hard to turn down. Torres joined a Spanish revolution at Liverpool led by the manager and the key on-field figures of Xabi Alonso and Pepe Reina and Alvaro Arbeloa.

 

 'El Nino' made his Premier League bow in first game of the 2007/8 season away to Aston Villa - which the Reds won courtesy of a Steven Gerrard free-kick - and his home debut came a week later against rivals Chelsea. 

 

Expectation was fever pitch among the Anfield faithful and it didn't take long for the first goal to arrive. Gerrard found plenty of space in the middle of the pitch, managing to deliver a defence-splitting pass through ball to Torres. The Spaniard still had some work to do with the Israeli defender Tal Ben-Haim by his side. However that did not worry Torres in the slightest as he used his pace to go past him with ease before calmly slotting the ball past Petr Cech and a Liverpool icon was instantly born.

 

 

It was the first of seven goals that Torres would score in Liverpool colours against the Blues in just eight games. It became the archetypal goal of Torres in his pomp with the striker and his captain striking up a wonderful telepathic connection.

 

GettyImages-76175100.jpg

 

Torres produced a wonderful debut season for the Reds in the league reaching the 20 goals landmark for the first time in his senior career (24 goals in just 33 games). The Spaniard also scored six goals in the Champions League campaign and his final tally of 33 goals in 46 games was a remarkable effort.

 

In his prime, Torres was one of those strikers who liked to run at defenders using his blistering turn of pace to his advantage rather than being a stationary target. There was a theory that the only way to stop him was to block his run and be overly physical with him. It is not unreasonable to think that because of those tactics along with his propensity to pick up leg muscle injuries meant it took a toll on his body and his 'peak' years were a lot shorter than should have been for a player of his considerable talent.

 

It remains one of the biggest 'what ifs' of the past 20 years just how much more of an impact Torres could have made as a Liverpool player had he avoided the injury curse.

 

Jason Harris


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28 minutes ago, Numero Veinticinco said:

He doesn’t mean much to me in the grand scheme of things. He was very good for a couple of seasons but didn’t really give a fuck about the club or the fans. Just another player to me. 

Bollocks. He left because he was pissed off with Hodgson and the way the club was going. He loved it here under Rafa. 

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My parents bought me a signed Jersey of him for Christmas. 

 

He signed for Chelsea 3 weeks later. Sickened me. 

 

He was fantastic for us. Scored some great and important goals to. 

 

I couldn't begrudge him that move, we where spiralling into a shitty abyss at that time. 

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2 minutes ago, Numero Veinticinco said:

What does him loving it under a manager have to do with him giving a fuck about the club and fans? He fucked off to Chelsea. Your opinion seems to be based off you ‘still loving him’. 

I'm gonna have a wank over him in a bit. 

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Fond memories of the Torres Bounce, that whole ear. His armband proved he was a red. My favourite ever chant. 

 

That team should have won a league and a European Cup. Such a shame the squad wasn't strengthened against injuries. 

 

If it's between Hicks and Gilette, Purslow, Comolli, Hodgson and Torres, then Fernando would be the one i would believe. His best days were behind him, but he burned brightly for those couple of seasons. 

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No one will ever get to the bottom of why he moved.

As far as winning stuff went he was proved right.

 

That said had Rafa stayed or Kenny been appointed straight away I'm convinced he'd have stayed a bit longer.

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He's a cunt. He appeared on Chelsea TV the night of his transfer saying he was glad he finally joined a big club. Allowed himself to be used as club propaganda by that absolutely vile machine and their fans. 

 

As the joy of playing football evaporated too he just gave off a miserable, morose aura that sucked the joy out of watching him and of liking footballers in general or believing in them. For that reason, and the one of broken trust, he was the last player I loved the way a kid does.

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I was in absolute denial about him going to Chelsea right up until he actually signed for them. I just couldn’t get my head around the fact one of our best players would join that gang of plastic cunts. 

 

I know he’ll never say it, but I’m pretty certain he regrets the whole thing, especially as his time at Chelsea was a failure. Yeah he won a few trophies, but he played very little part in delivering them. I can’t imagine many of the plastics fans remember him with any real fondness. I reckon I’d have hated him a lot more if he’d gone there and been a massive success. 

 

I liked the fact that he was treated with respect when he came back for a testimonial game though, it’s good to acknowledge the fantastic player we witnessed. I remember him being pleasantly surprised at that, and it shows the class of our fans as I’m not sure he’d have got that at most clubs. 

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As Section says completely disrespected the club and fans by attempting to belittle us for Chelsea TV that’s without his half arsed effort towards the end. He actually played more league games for them than us which surprised me. He shat all over the club and should be remembered accordingly imo.

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