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Torres is unfazed about living up to record fee

Torres is unfazed about living up to record fee

Jul 5 2007

by Nick Smith, Liverpool Daily Post

BY his own admission, he hit the ceiling and couldn’t go any higher. But now Fernando Torres knows it’s time for him to raise the roof off Anfield by becoming the goalscoring number nine its inhabitants are longing for.

It was perhaps appropriate that his new home ground was yesterday full of media-generated reminders that he now has the responsibility of being Liverpool’s record signing.

After all, he appeared to be blissfully unaware of it as he strode in looking as unruffled as the crisp white shirt sitting beneath the black suit and black tie combo.

A classic look for the classic centre forward, a stick-thin streak of confidence, calmness and consideration.

If those traits are transferred into the penalty area when he kick-starts his Liverpool career next month, the burden really will be off.

As for now, it’s barely even sitting, never mind weighing heavily, on his young shoulders.

“I don’t have any fear of this responsibility and it’s not something that worries me unduly,” said Torres.

“I know that with hard work, and what typifies any team of Rafa Benitez throughout history is hard work, you can overcome and reach your targets with it.

The very fact that Liverpool given me the legendary number nine shirt that has been worn by so many great players shows they have got confidence in me and that in itself brings responsibility without even talking about the fee.

“I’m totally aware, from the things I’ve had chance to read about and the snippets of news that I’ve seen, that the expectations are extremely high and I know that people are really keen to see me score lots of goals.

“I’m just as keen to fulfil all their hopes and desires and the main thing is I’m confident that I will have the necessary ammunition.

“I’m playing with top players in a top side and that gives me the confidence to go forward and be positive about the challenge.

“Looking back at my career, I’ve shown a lot of maturity, I’ve been captain of my club for a number of years so I’ve had a lot of responsibility and that augurs well for this extra responsibility.”

Words that certainly augur well for a 23-year-old with a limited grasp of English who had never left his second home of Atletico Madrid before completing his move yesterday.

It shows promising courage, as did his flying visit back to Madrid yesterday to face the press at the very ground he was about to vacate thus inflicting a crippling empty-nest syndrome on the locals who had overseen his growth into a world-class forward.

It’s a practice unheard of in English football. The most high-profile goodbye over here this summer was performed by Thierry Henry, but only in the cosy confines of the club’s TV channel.

Yet just hours before the considerable stress of being unveiled as the most expensive commodity in the history of a club that has won more honours than any other in its country, Torres was wheeled out in his homeland to explain himself.

He said: “It’s true I’ve had offers in the past but this is the very first time I’ve actually asked Atletico Madrid to listen to any of those offers.

“It’s a good moment for me and my conscience is clear.

“I think the confidence shown by the manager and club as a whole was another great motivation for me because Liverpool are a massive club who could literally approach anyone in the world of football so to have chosen me was very special.

“I think that 23 is an ideal age to be making a move like this, I was ready and had reached a ceiling at my old club – I’d gone as far as maybe I could. I didn’t think I could give any more and I wanted to set myself new targets and new goals.


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