There have been many footballers over the years that have captured the imagination of the masses, because let’s face it, that’s what the aim of the game is (beyond winning trophies and making loads of money, of course). However, there are very few that make fans of the modern era feel old.
Fernando Torres is one of those players. Why? Because as reported by BBC and The Guardian, he is set to officially announce his retirement from professional football. Torres is well known for his stints with Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea, in addition to his glittering career with the Spanish national team in which he won pretty much everything that there is to win.
Goodbye, El Nino
The reason we feel old, though, is that even those of us in our early twenties can remember when Torres was first bursting onto the scene as the new baby-faced assassin. He was young, he was hungry, and he certainly knew how to make an impact in front of goal.
Now he’s 35 years of age, and we’re left to wonder where on earth the time has gone. For the longest stint it felt like he was going to be an ever present forward at the top of the European game, and for one reason or another, he was just a little bit too inconsistent.
That doesn’t go for his entire career, of course, but let’s not pretend like his first few months at Chelsea weren’t disastrous. With that being said we probably aren’t been fair to him by bringing up the negatives, because purely from an accolades point of view, he’s right up there with the best of them.
Perhaps his career highlight came back in 2008, when he scored the winning goal for Spain in the UEFA European Championship final against Germany. He was just one of those players that seemed to switch himself on when the big games came around, and that’s a commodity that not every high level, world class striker has in their locker.
One of the best
The retirement of Torres marks the progressive end of the golden era for Spanish football, in our minds, but at least they can look back and realise just how much they were able to accomplish. Two European Championship wins and one World Cup is an absolutely massive statement of intent, and at one stage, they were being discussed as the greatest national team in the history of the game.
In the decades to come Torres will be talked about in that regard, and the memories will come flooding back for many. He was a pretty unassuming figure off the pitch, but if he was playing to his full capabilities on it, then there were very few individuals who could stop him.
From Madrid to Liverpool and back again, we just want to give our thanks to Fernando for one hell of a career. There were highs and there were lows, but he will forever be known as one of Spanish football’s finest goalscorers – and what a legacy that is to have.