After scoring a total of only 11 goals in 45 matches this season, did Fernando Torres actually think he’ll get a chance to start in the Champions League final? Well, apparently he did, and was disappointed with not being chosen to take one of the penalty kicks against Bayern Munich.
But it’s not all bad. Torres was rumored to be insulted by not being included in the first five kickers set up, and the slippery slope even got to the point of departure talks, but Chelsea aren’t giving up on their 50 million asset so quickly, even after a terrible season and some since joining from Liverpool.
Torres has grown in confidence recently. He was afraid to take a penalty kick in a league match a couple of months ago. Things have changed since. Maybe, like for most of the club, it was the change at the managerial position. Maybe it was something else – Torres didn’t exactly light up the scoreboards under Roberto Di Matteo, but he did show and do much more than before.
Right after the match Fernando Torres had an interview, stating his disappointment from the lack of opportunities he got during the season at Chelsea and specifically at the Champions League Final. Since then, two things have changed – Didier Drogba backed Torres as the man to replace him as the front-man once he’s gone, and he’s had talks with the club, satisfying with his place in the future plans of Chelsea.
Despite Drogba’s words, it’s hard to believe Torres will remain Chelsea’s only big-name option. Daniel Sturridge isn’t enough as a complementary name up front, while Salomon Kalou is pondering leaving the club, maybe back to The Netherlands, to Feyenoord.
There’s Romelu Lukaku, but a club that wants to be back in the title challenge spot next season, along with its Champions League aspirations, will probably be getting involved in the transfer market, looking for a big name to bolster up their rather stingy offense. Chelsea won this title with a lot of things, but great offensive football wasn’t one of them.
We’ve talked and now I have no doubt what they expect of Fernando Torres. I just want to start next season already. At Chelsea, I am very happy and I never said the opposite. I still have a lot to do in this club. It has been a difficult year – I didn’t play much and my mind was like a rollercoaster. I believe that I deserved to play more. I felt very bad and I would not like to feel that way again but I have never surrendered and I never will.
When Chelsea signed me they did it with great expectations, and the confidence of the owner and the fans has been unconditional, but my role in the team has not followed that line. I look at myself and think I have not known how to be essential for the coaches I’ve had and this is another goal to accomplish – which I will, at all costs.
Torres has been included in Spain’s squad for the 2012 Euro, surprising many. His form over the last 18 months has not been exactly up to par with the expectations of a world class striker, but Spain do have a problem without David Villa, who is accounted for about half their goals in recent years.
There’s Roberto Soldado and Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo, but Del Bosque wants a more proven name with the national team. Someone who scored in a Euro final, four years ago, when he seemed to peak. Maybe a relatively happy end to the very rough season will put Torres in a position to recreate his Euro 2008 form.