MADRID, May 25 — Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has put a difficult season behind him and is itching to be part of the European champions’ future plans, the player said yesterday following talks with the club’s hierarchy.
Torres voiced his concerns after being left out of Chelsea’s starting line-up for last weekend’s Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich, saying he had been close to throwing in the towel.
“My goal was to talk to them at the end of the season, I needed to know what plans they had for me,” Torres said in an interview published on his personal website (www.fernando9torres.com).
“We’ve talked and now I have no doubt what they expect of Fernando Torres. I just want to start next season as soon as possible.”
The 28-year-old moved to Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011 for £50 million (RM247 million) but has struggled to rediscover the scoring touch that made him one of the hottest properties in the market.
“It was a mental block, I felt really bad,” he said. “I felt great on the pitch this season because I have become a more complete player, but the ball did not go in. I felt I was never in the correct position.”
The news that talismanic striker Didier Drogba was leaving Stamford Bridge may have opened the door for a more regular place in Chelsea’s starting lineup, but Torres did not see it that way.
“I can only wish him (Drogba) the best and I feel proud to have shared so much with him,” Torres said. “I want to play with the best and he is one of the best. I do not understand why it has to be one or the other, and not both.”
Torres was left out of the Spain squad for their last friendly against Venezuela in February, when the man called up in his place, Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, scored a hat-trick, and the pacy forward’s place at Euro 2012 looked to be in doubt.
However, coach Vicente del Bosque brought him back into the fold on Monday, and he is likely to make the final cut when the world and European champions announce their 23-man squad for Poland and Ukraine on Sunday.
“I saw myself out (of the squad),” Torres added. “I never received a call with such enthusiasm.
“Spain has earned the role of being favourite and we have to accept it, but it is worthless because you have to prove it on the field of play.
“Three titles in a row is something no one has done before. If we can achieve that we will be a world reference because people will be talking about this generation for many years to come.” — Reuters