Fernando Torres: then, now and perhaps the future
It was the summer of 2010. The whole world had been gripped by football fever, and every one who knew anyone from the world of football was like a divine prophet, sent straight from heaven to enlighten us. One of my friends had been stung by the football bug in 2008, thanks to the European Championships, and no one, I repeat, no one is twice shy of the football bug. Weird names were flying all around, who could possibly be the lead goal scorer, or the winner of the most coveted trophy in the World Cup, the Golden ball.
I was trying to keep up with ‘Schweinsteiger’ and ‘Blaszczykowski’ when a caught a name which stood out, at least to me. The name was Fernando Torres, and the reason it stood out was because of a similarity of pronunciations with a Pokemon, ‘Tauros’ (Talk about weird and humble beginnings). I knew this guy was one to be followed when my friends told me about his escapades at Liverpool and against Germany in the finals of the Euros. I saw each and every game Spain had to play, although I was rooting for my favorites, the Germans, and was left in disappointment. My player of choice was having a hard time playing, or even break into the first XI, and soon decided to observe Miroslav Klose more klosely (pun intended).
The name Torres remained forgotten to me until the January transfer window, when I found out Torres had just become the most expensive player in British history, and his adopted home at Chelsea was to become my Mecca too. I watched the matches from that season, which Chelsea disappointingly failed to win or perform to their best, and neither did Torres. The season after, Chelsea won a rare double, clinching the win from the jaws of defeat, and Torres’s part in the victory was by no means immense, but I still didn’t lose faith.
The next edition of the Euros commenced, and this time, Torres won the Golden boot thanks to three goals and an assist. I knew my favorite striker still had it in him, he could still net the ball. We even joked on how he could only find the back of the net while playing in a red jersey (that has to be the weirdest of coincidences, but its true). His run at Chelsea following the Euros wasn’t what I was expecting after such a fantastic session of international football.
Yes, he did look like he was about to make a comeback, and his entry on to the big stage was with a bang, netting seven goals and assisting thrice, but he still lacked the predatory form a £50 million striker would have.
I’m still waiting for my moment of pure ecstasy, as is Torres. He has found the back of the net seven times now, half of what Messi or Ronaldo have, and this guy was once at par with them. Looking at Chelsea play now leaves me mildly irritated, I actually start getting angry whenever a defender scores, I know it could have been our star man, someone who has proven himself a talismanic striker in English football, but he just cant replicate that magic anymore.
Hazard, Mata and Oscar had promised so much upon being given a permanent position in the starting XI, but even they look subdued. No more do they look as deadly as they used to, no more running past defenders or making them foul like slow lumbering apes, they score, no doubt, but not in the same way they used to a few months back, and their link up play with Torres is next to negligible, and he stands as an isolated striker, one trying to make his own runs, trying to dribble through defensive lineups, finally ending up losing the ball.
The probable, likely and even preferable future:
The January transfer season has arrived, and Roman and Roberto will be looking to drop Torres like a hot potato in the frigid London winter. Having been linked with numerous big names in the world of striking such as Falcao and Cavani, there is no doubt about it. Torres is going to be shipped out or kept as a second fiddle, the first more likely as Roman will be looking to cut his losses. No team in the world would now place an offer for Torres, since Chelsea would demand nothing short of a King’s ransom and most teams will be ready with cheque books to pay peanuts for the once-reknowned forward. If some team were to end up on the buyers end (preferably one with a red jersey), then it would be better, perhaps for everyone.
For Torres, for Chelsea and for loyal fans all over the world.