Torres: I wanted to leave Anfield last summer

Click to follow
The Independent Football

His No 9 Liverpool shirt was burnt on the streets of Merseyside when he concluded his audacious transfer on Monday night, but that has not prevented Chelsea's new £50m signing Fernando Torres from stating boldly that he hopes he scores against his former club when he makes his debut for his new team on Sunday and that he wanted to leave as early as last summer.

Torres described it as "destiny" that his first match for Chelsea will be against the club he represented for three and a half seasons, and he is looking forward to further irritating those Liverpool fire-starters by scoring at Stamford Bridge.

"It is like destiny," Torres said. "It is not perfect for me but we will see what happens and I only have good words about Liverpool. They made me a top player and gave me the chance to play at the top level. I will never say anything bad about Liverpool. I have been very happy there, but now the history is different and I am playing for Chelsea. If I have the chance to play, I will do my best for Chelsea and, hopefully, I can score."

Torres, 26, also made it clear that he had wanted to leave Liverpool last summer but was talked out of it, an admission that will not go down well at his former club, where there were suspicions he simply was not trying hard enough.

However, despite the promise of better days under new owners Fenway Sports Group and the caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish, Torres admitted that the time had come to move to Chelsea which, he said, represents a step up to another, higher, level.

"I felt from last summer that I needed to do a step forward in my career and for my ambition as a footballer," Torres said. "I am joining a team that is at the top level. There is not another level after Chelsea.

"I am joining with big names like [John] Terry, [Frank] Lampard, [Didier] Drogba and [Nicolas] Anelka and I can be part of this great team. Also, I wanted to join because Chelsea always have shown a big respect for me. They really want me and it is important when you have the support of the people in the club, and the support of the fans who always showed respect to me when I came to Stamford Bridge. Now I am very happy to be a Chelsea player."

Torres has spoken in the past of feeling it is "as if you don't exist" and that you "are going backwards" if you are not competing in the Champions League. It appears he harbours the same ambition to win it as the Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovich, and manager, Carlo Ancelotti.

The closest Torres has come was when his Liverpool team lost in the semi-finals to Chelsea in 2008. "I have a very bad memory of the semi-final of the Champions League when they beat us," he said. "It was a frustrating day for me but, hopefully, now I am here we can go through to the final and win.

"The Champions League is a big ambition and all the footballers want to play in it. It is a very important competition. But also Chelsea have the chance every season to win all the trophies that they play for, so when you have the chance to play in a team like this, you cannot say no."

Chelsea also completed the £21.5m signing of Benfica defender David Luiz, with midfielder Nemanja Matic going the other way at the end of the season. Luiz said: "It is a major challenge but I am determined and confident in my ability to adapt to this excellent league."

The Chelsea chief executive, Ron Gourlay, dug into the cliché archive to to describe the feelings of Ancelotti. "Carlo is over the moon. He did say we needed to bring a couple of players in, and I said six months ago if we had to bring someone in then it would be a big signing," Gourlay said.



Comments