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My heart was set on Anfield move - Torres

My heart was set on Anfield move - Torres

Jul 5 2007

by David Prentice, Liverpool Echo

Liverpool's new signing Fernando Torres with manager Rafael Benitez during a press conference at Anfield - Picture: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

FERNANDO TORRES has established a reputation for making things happen on the football pitch.

Yesterday he proved he’s no slouch off it, either.

The golden boy of Spanish football was paraded at Anfield following the completion of his £20m transfer – then revealed the move was as much his own making as Rafa Benitez’s.

Strikers arriving at Anfield usually fall over themselves to reveal a lifelong, but hitherto hidden allegiance to the Reds.

Torres revealed yesterday that he, too, had been a closet red. But this time the information had to be prised from him, as the quietly spoken, fresh-faced 23-year-old explained the story behind the famous captain’s armband he sported at the end of last season.

“It came from my mates,” he smiled. “We’re all Liverpool fans and have been for some years, so a few years back now the lads all got a tattoo on their arms.

“Obviously as a footballer I couldn’t really get the same thing done myself, so what they did was on my last birthday they gave me a birthday present of the armband with “We’ll never walk alone” written underneath.”

The armband ‘accidentally’ came loose against Real Sociedad in April, revealing the legend and prompting inevitable speculation.

If that message was too subtle, boss Rafa Benitez revealed that Torres took more obvious steps in the weeks which followed.

“I don’t know how old he was when he became a fan, whether it was 15 or 16, but you’ve heard the anecdote with the armband – and this was true,” he explained.

“But he was also talking with some of his team-mates in the national team and he said ‘If I ever leave Atletico Madrid then I would like to go to Liverpool. Please tell Rafa!’ “

The Reds boss didn’t need telling about Torres’ quality.

“He is a player with power, a player who can score goals, someone who can win the ball in the air and I think he will excite our fans because he can dribble and he fights very hard for the ball,” he explained.

“We are a club with passion, the supporters and everything, and he has passion also.”

Torres made it clear yesterday that he was passionate about signing for Liverpool.

“It was just a couple of weeks ago that I heard about the possibility,” he explained. “It's all happened very quickly.

“I was aware of offers from other clubs but as soon as I knew Liverpool were interested I said to Atletico: ‘Look, please listen to this offer.’


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