Chelsea’s Spanish striker returns to Anfield on Sunday hoping to boost the Blues’ quest for a top-four finish, but acknowledges a debt of gratitude to the Reds he left behind
While the return of Rafa Benitez to Anfield on Sunday with Chelsea has made headlines, Fernando Torres may receive a somewhat cooler reception from the Liverpool faithful.
Torres upset many Reds fans when he left for Chelsea in January 2011 for a record British transfer fee of £50 million, but he insists he looks back on his time on Merseyside with great affection.
“I owe Liverpool a huge amount – to the people, to the men in charge, to the city. A huge amount,” El Nino told the Times of India.
“Liverpool is a fundamental part of my life. They don’t remember me that way, but time will change that. I could not have chosen a better place to go when I left Atletico Madrid.
“That’s why I only have good things to say about the Liverpool people and the supporters particularly. I had a great three and a half years there.
“They made me feel really good there. I will never say anything bad about that club, that city.”
However, with Chelsea targeting Champions League involvement next season by achieving a top-four finish this term, Torres admits the need to take three points against his former club trumps any sentiment.
“This is the final part of the race; we have everything still to play for and it depends on us,” he stated.
“We want to win a trophy – the Europa League – and we need to secure a top-four position so we can be back in the Champions League next season. We need to be ready.”
The Spain striker has been in good form lately, with three goals in his last five games taking him to 20 for the season in all competitions – despite the fact that he has had to wear a protective mask in recent matches after breaking his nose.
He revealed that wearing the mask is not a comfortable experience: “It’s really tight; it has to be very tight to avoid any movement. So after training for an hour or so it starts to hurt.
“However, that’s better than if someone kicked me on the nose while it is recovering!
“I’ve had to learn to play with it because the doctors said I am going to be wearing it for four to six weeks. I’m getting used to it now.”
Chelsea, currently fourth in the Premier League with 61 points from 32 games, take on seventh-placed Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday knowing a win would take them back above Arsenal into third.