Love, support and a little bit of piece and quiet from the media. Maybe that was the big secret to resurrecting the career of Fernando Torres, finding the return to his first club, Atletico Madrid, a very happy one.
The nightmares of his days at Chelsea, when every miss or turnover resulted in people humming and whispering about the £50 million Chelsea spent on him, the most ever by a British club at the time. Torres was brilliant when healthy during his Liverpool days with 81 goals in 142 matches. He was part of bigger titles when playing for Chelsea, including very important goals that made a big difference, but his record of 45 goals in 172 matches was indefensible. Not for a striker.
His time with Milan? It’s better not to talk about it. His time with Atletico? Not exactly finding the fountain of youth, but suddenly looking like a happy person again. Some might say there was very little of that going on after his arrival at Chelsea, with the pressure of living up to his transfer fee turning into huge iron balls chained to his legs, denying him the chance and freedom to show how good of a striker he is, or was, which has always been a factor. Injuries, and not lack of confidence or motivation, might have been the biggest blockade he had, and failed, to force his way through.
Fernando Torres wasn’t brought over to Atletico Madrid in order to lead this team with a huge amount of goals. Torres is about a certain connection with the fans. It’s about his experience when it comes to titles, and he has it, despite all the jokes and memes over the years. It’s also about trying to give him one more shot in a smaller role with possibly the last club that is willing to give him that opportunity.
Goals against Real Madrid in the Spanish Cup. The winning penalty in the shootout against Leverkusen. Torres is doing big things in a minor way for Atletico Madrid. Considering how far his career has fallen with Chelsea and then Milan, he and the team that he’s currently playing for couldn’t have asked for anything more.