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TORRES: A working class hero is all that I want to be

TORRES: A working class hero is all that I want to be

Jul 13 2007

by Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo

Fernando Torres with his Liverpool number 9 shirt - Picture: Martin Birchall

TO some players, signing for Liverpool represents the summit of their ambition.

Too many of the club’s most recent record signings have seen a lucrative Anfield contract primarily as a passport to fame and fortune, bringing their years of toil elsewhere to an end while they reap the rewards of their newly acquired reputation.

The compulsion to continue to improve as a player, or put in the extra hours to inspire their side to glory, has often appeared secondary to living off the status of being a Liverpool player.

It comes as a refreshing relief that the latest multi-million pound recruit, Fernando Torres, breaks this trend.

Torres has left his iconic standing in Madrid, where he could have stayed a local hero for the rest of his career, to start from scratch and test himself on Merseyside.

When asked if he felt joining Liverpool for such a massive fee was evidence enough that he’s already proved his credentials at the highest level, the reaction is joyously humble.

“If I had the idea I’d already be a success just by joining Liverpool, I wouldn’t have come,” says the 23-year-old.

“To achieve the level the people here demand of me I know I will have to work hard all the time.

“To hit this level I must be focused completely on my football. I could have stayed where I was comfortable, but what attracted me to Liverpool is it’s a working team.

“The gaffer has put a mentality into the team that means everyone must work hard for success.

“This is known to be a key characteristic of Benitez’s side and I like this.

“I also like that Liverpool is a working class area with supporters who I believe are similar to those of Atletico, who appreciate and respect hard work.

“At this kind of club, there is usually a special bond between the players and the supporters. It means there is a different spirit about the city and the club compared to some others.

“Although the players have told me about the mentality of the Liverpool people, and how the fans are, I don’t think this is something which can be explained in words.

“It is only something I can understand when I play my first game at Anfield against Chelsea. Then I will fully know about the relationship between the Liverpool supporters and the players.”

Torres revealed on his arrival he had no interest in leaving Atletico for any other club than Liverpool.

That’s partly, he says, due to the obvious Spanish connections.

But he also admits the hunger he could sense at a club seeking its first title in 18 years appealed to his sentiments.

“I know how much everyone at Liverpool want to win the title because it’s been many years since the club has done it,” he said.

“But with the squad we have right now I’m sure we can compete for all the trophies.

“Unfortunately, Atletico isn’t at the level it should be given the size of the club and its history. I hoped to reach certain targets and achieve ambitions with Atletico but it wasn’t possible.

“Liverpool are always competing for the league or Champions League and I feel I needed to take this step to compete against the best players in the world.

“After being in two Champions League finals in three years, Liverpool has the respect it deserves so it’s not difficult to understand why I would want to come here.

“There were other factors in my decision, of course. Having a Spanish manager and other Spanish players who’ve told me about the club makes it better for me, but mainly I want to compete for important trophies.”


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