Fernando Torres has announced his retirement after 18 special years in the game that included 81 goals in 142 games for Liverpool between 2007 and 2011.
El Nino recently announced his retirement via social media telling his Twitter followers, “after 18 exciting years, the time has come put an end to my football career.”
I have something very important to announce. After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career. Next Sunday, the 23rd at 10:00AM, local time in Japan, I will have a press conference in Tokyo to explain all the details.See you there. pic.twitter.com/WrKnvRTUIu
— Fernando Torres (@Torres) June 21, 2019
Indeed, Torres joined Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool in 2007, and while he only spent four seasons at Anfield before making an ill-fated move to Chelsea in 2011, the impact he left on both fans of the club and admirers of the beautiful game is still felt today.
Perhaps the striker’s career will be defined by his record-breaking move to Stamford Bridge for £50m or his life-long connection to Atletico Madrid but few would doubt the initial impact he had on English football when he moved to Liverpool. Described by Steven Gerrard as the best striker in the world back in 2009 and the quickest man to reach the 50-goal landmark in a red shirt before the arrival of Mo Salah, he really was a force to be reckoned with.
With that and his imminent departure from football in mind, we’re going to take a look at two of the Spaniard’s most prolific games in the famous red jersey.
Liverpool 4 – 0 West Ham United: Wednesday 5 March 2008
Torres became the first Liverpool player in more than 60 years to score successive hat-tricks at Anfield, when he netted against the helpless Hammers.
The range of goals he scored encapsulated everything he was as a striker. The first, pinged into him from the right flank by Dirk Kuyt required the deftest of touches to guide it into the left-hand side of goal with pinpoint accuracy. The second, a headed goal, utilised his aerial ability (albeit he was planted firmly on the ground), while the third was a combination of class finishing and apex predator-like anticipation.
Manchester United 1 – 4 Liverpool: Saturday 14 March 2009
It’s one thing to beat bitter rivals Manchester United, but it’s something totally different to thrash them.
While Cardiff City recently claimed a 2-0 victory at Old Trafford, ‘back then’ it wasn’t the kind of place you simply waltzed into and won; Ferguson was renowned for influencing referees and getting his own way and United, for all intents and purposes, were arguably a far better team back then as well, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Carlos Tevez and Edwin van der Sar all still in their prime.
When Torres touched down, the Red Devils were in pole position to secure the Premier League title with a seven-point lead over Liverpool at the top of the table, with a game in hand and the end of the season fast approaching.
Ronaldo gave the home side an early lead via the penalty spot, but their joy didn’t last long as Torres stepped up and kick-started the rout. In typical fashion, the Spaniard used his pace, sophisticated football brain and lethal finishing ability to capitalise on a calamitous Vidic error by slotting the ball past Edwin van der Sar.
A day to remember.
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