Fernando Torres reveals telling Steven Gerrard of his Liverpool exit was 'one of the most difficult moments' of his career and 'destroyed' his team-mate
Torres claims the side was falling apart due to player sales and convinced him that he would not win the Premier League or Champions League if he stayed at Anfield
Friday 30 May 2014
Fernando Torres has admitted that informing Steven Gerrard that he was leaving Liverpool for Chelsea was “one of the most difficult moments" of his career, but accepted that he had to leave because the team was falling apart.
Torres headed south for London in January 2011 when the Blues signed the striker for a British record fee of £50m. On the same day, Liverpool signed Andy Carroll for £35m from Newcastle, a fee that remains the record for a British player.
The Spaniard admitted that he spoke to the current England captain in the build-up to his departure, and revealed that telling Gerrard he was on his way was the toughest part of his Anfield exit.
“One day, Steven Gerrard came to say to me, ‘Fernando, now, you have to think of yourself. Do what you have to do’,” Torres told French magazine So Foot.
“But when I went to tell him that I was going to accept the Chelsea offer, it destroyed him. Announcing my departure from Liverpool to Gerrard was one of the most difficult moments of my career.
“He was my best team-mate and I am not sure of finding another like him in the future. We were made for each other.”
Having scored 81 goals in 142 matches for Liverpool and shown a sustained period of form that marked him out as one of the best strikers in the world, Torres had interested Chelsea for a number of years before they eventually made a successful move for the World Cup winner.
His three-and-a-half year stay on Merseyside led him to become a firm favourite of the Kop faithful, but he admits that the sale of other key players – in particular Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively – along with the failure to win any league titles led him to seek a move away from the club.
“At Liverpool, I had almost everything but titles. There, I felt like a king but the team was falling apart,” Torres added.
“The directors had sold Mascherano to Barca, then Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid without investing any of the money to compensate for the departure of these two key players.
“I was 27, I wanted to know what it was like to lift the Champions League and I had the feeling it was not going to happen with Liverpool.
“Then they were in full transition, the club was being sold and in that case, unless you are Manchester City or PSG, it can be a long road before you are again competitive.”
Torres and Gerrard in action for Liverpool back in 2010 Torres could leave Stamford Bridge this summer with reported interest coming from Inter Milan and his former club Atletico Madrid. Even though he has won both the Champions League and the Europa League with the Blues, his form has been hugely inconsistent, and the striker has had to endure long periods among the substitutes having competed with strikers such as Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba.
He spoke of his concern that he was not being played enough under former manager Carlo Ancelotti, but despite believing that things would change when first Andre Villas-Boas and then Roberto Di Matteo arrived to lead the club, he admitted his experiences on the bench became all too regular.
“At the time, David Luiz and myself went to see Ancelotti together because we had been the last arrivals, we were told we would be important, but, in reality, we weren't playing. They finished by saying to us: 'We are going to finish the season with the team that started it'.”
“I understood nothing of what had happened. I started to know the experience of the bench. I reassured myself by saying things would soon change. Villas-Boas arrived, then Di Matteo but it was always the same: one day I played, the next not.”
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