It may not be obvious, from his largely unsmiling visage, but life at Stamford Bridge is apparently full of joy for Fernando Torres.
The £50m man, who has yet to score since his January transfer from Liverpool, is nonetheless much happier with life in the capital than on Merseyside.
"What I didn't expect, when I got to Chelsea, was that the atmosphere would be so different from Liverpool," he said in an interview with Madrid-based newspaper Marca yesterday. Torres added: "I expected it to be more distant given that this has a name for being a superstar team.
"There are better personal relations and more jokes between the players than at Liverpool, where everything is a lot more serious. Here you don't have to demonstrate that you're a professional, it's taken as the minimum."
Torres further risked upsetting his former colleagues with a searing critique of Liverpool's current status.
"I knew I was an idol for the Liverpool fans, but it wasn't the same any more," he said. "The institution was in chaos with the sale. There was all this talk of possible projects. In many ways, it reminded me of Atletico Madrid – a great history, many ideas but without money, it needed time. I don't have that."
Thus the move to Chelsea where "winning trophies is all they care about. For me, the Champions League is the dream. I want to win the Premier League too and I think that we will win more than one while I am here."
There was, however, a clear sense of disillusionment when Torres said: "People aren't honest in the world of football. You can't say the truth or be clear with people. It's a business and nobody is anyone's friend."
One of his new team-mates, Frank Lampard, was yesterday banned from driving for 90 days for speeding at 91mph in a 50mph zone near Esher.Reuse content