The trouble with being Fernando Torres

 

(The Star)

(The Star)

 

He used to be The Kid. Now, all too often, he’s The Villain.

Time travel back five years or so and he was the Anfield hero, arguably the world’s best center-forward, the grinning fresh face who could do no wrong.

Now, when his face pops up on the big screen at the Maracana – after a game in which he scored four goals and missed a penalty — he’s the guy who gets mercilessly booed, like some kind of Castillian Grinch.

What happened?

A British transfer record, some injuries, some ill-advised statements upon joining Chelsea, several seasons of underachievement and losing his place as an automatic choice up front for La Roja.

His skill set is suited neither to Spain’s short passing game nor Chelsea’s attempts to emulate it (under Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo). Even when Rafa Benitez — the man who could supposedly bring back the “old” Torres — came on board, things didn’t really improve, as evidenced by the four goals he scored in the 26 Premier League games he played in since Di Matteo was let go.

Ask him about it and, naturally, he bristles.

“I don’t think I have anything to prove,” he says. “I have more than 100 caps and more than 25 goals for Spain (actually, he’s selling himself short: he has 35).”

Maybe so, but since the 2010 World Cup, he has started just six competitive games for La Roja, counting Thursday’s pasting of Tahiti. True, there is a lot of competition for places. In this Confederations Cup alone, his manager, Vicente Del Bosque, can choose between a pure penalty box finisher like Roberto Soldado, a tricky elusive forward cutting all across the offensive front like David Villa, a pacy counter-attacker like Torres or, as he did for much of the Euros, no striker at all.

Yet there is no escaping fact: Times have changed for Torres. And, at 29, with two years remaining on his Chelsea contract, you wonder what the future holds.

The unanswered question is whether Torres would trade his silverware-laden past five years for the five before that, when he won nothing but often carried his team.

Source: ESPN 

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One Comment on “The trouble with being Fernando Torres”

  1. Pasan Weerasinghe June 27, 2013 at 4:48 am #

    Reblogged this on Diary of a Law Student.

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