Written by: Daniel Ghorbal @danghorbal
Love him or hate him, Fernando Torres will go down as one of the most talented players to grace the hallowed Anfield turf, signing from Atletico Madrid for an at the time club record fee of £20.2 million. Rafa Benitez thought highly of the electric Spanish centre-forward and it took him no time whatsoever to endorse himself to the Anfield faithful, scoring on his debut against club rivals Chelsea. During his debut season, Torres scored 33 goals in all competitions, including 24 league goals, an outstanding return and just the beginning for Liverpool’s exciting number 9. In this campaign, he was voted 2nd in the vote for the Football Writer’s Player of the Year, second behind Cristiano Ronaldo, an admirable achievement for his first season in English football.
The Spaniard was less prolific in the 08/09 season however he scored some huge goals in big games, notably the 4-0 thumping of Real Madrid whereby his devastating combination with Steven Gerrard was eye-catching to say the least. Liverpool’s captain formed a brilliant partnership with Torres, assisting the latter on many occasions, thus constantly developing their reputation of one of the world’s most dangerous attacking pair. Fernando Torres’ only real issue whilst at Liverpool was his fitness, as he struggled to play many matches in a row and occasionally picked up niggling injuries.
Missing out on 14 League games, Torres was unable to have the same impact as he did in the previous campaign but he still managed 14 in Liverpool’s pursuit of the title. Personally, his goal against Blackburn Rovers was his highlight of the season, beautifully taking the ball down on his chest before emphatically volleying into the far corner. A quite stupendous goal which typified his game. A flurry of goals towards the back end of the season unfortunately wasn’t enough to prevent arch rivals Manchester United from securing the title.
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The following season, Fernando Torres was in ruthless form, scoring 18 league goals in 22 league games. Frustratingly again, Torres’ fitness wasn’t at its peak and missing out on 16 league games prevented Torres from reaching at least the 25 goal mark. On the whole, this was a poor season for the club, finishing 7th and picking up 23 points less than they did in the previous campaign, but Torres’ goal to game ratio was something to hang on to. However, this is when his illustrious career at Anfield began to unravel.
During the early months of the 2010/11 season, Torres was looking unsettled and far less ruthless. Whether this is down to his haircut or want to move away, the reality of the situation is that Torres was starting to fall out of love with the club. When Chelsea came coming in 2011, it is no surprise that Fernando handed in a transfer request and left the club for a record fee of £50 million. It was a rather bitter ending for a player who had the potential to reach unprecedented heights at Anfield. Making the move to Chelsea underlined his lack of loyalty however this is football and things like this occur regularly. As opposed to sitting here and moaning about Torres’ controversial departure, it is far more productive recognising the good he did whilst a Liverbird was on his chest.
He left with 81 goals to show for his name and will always be remembered for the skill and quality he brought to Merseyside. Personally, as much as Torres’ withdrawal hurt, I recognise him as one of the players who made me fall in love with the game. Watching him tear defences apart on a regular basis was a sight to behold and even to this day, watching videos of his many goals and moments of sheer brilliance bring back good memories.
Written by: Daniel Ghorbal @danghorbal