Even though for the last three years Fernando Torres has mostly been that player who made a very expensive move to Chelsea where he has been mostly a pretty big failure, there’s a lot more from his career that will help him be remembered a bit more fondly as a footballer once it’s all over and he hangs up his boots.
Torres played seven seasons for Atletico Madrid, scoring at least 13 league goals a year for them since they returned to the Spanish La Liga. He ended up scoring 91 goals for them in 243 matches, which earned him a place with the national team, and also his move to the English Premier League, joining Liverpool. He never won anything with Atletico, but he’s fondly remembered in Spain for his time with the club, and there’s a very good chance we’ll see him playing for them again by the end of his career.
Torres, when he wasn’t injured, was absolutely clinical and brilliant for Liverpool. He played 102 league matches, scoring 65 goals for the reds, which could have been a lot more. His injury problems came during the second and third seasons at Anfield. In 2008-2009, the year Liverpool finished only 4 points behind Manchester United, Torres scored 14 goals in 24 matches, when his partnership with Steven Gerrard formed the most deadly duo in the Premier League. The next year he scored 18 goals in 22 matches, but that was the beginning of the fall for the club; Rafa Benitez’ last year.
There’s also his success with the national team, scoring 36 goals in 106 caps for La Roja. He played in the 2006 and 2010 World Cup for Spain, and even though he didn’t score a single goal in South Africa, he’s still part of a team that won the World Cup. His greatest moment came in the 2008 Euro final, scoring the only goal in the 1-0 win over Germany, beginning the golden age of Spanish football. He was quite effective when used in Euro 2012, scoring three goals, including another one in the final against Italy.
Even at Chelsea there have been golden moments. The European titles, including scoring a huge goal against Barcelona in the semifinal of the Champions League in 2012 and one of the goals in the win over Benfica in the Europa League final. Sure, there’s the pathetic scoring record and long list of scoring droughts. However, there’s been plenty in his career that’s happened giving him and others plenty of fond memories that go beyond disappointing numbers and a price tag he never recovered from.