Torres: An Intimate Portrait of the Kid Who Became King
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This is the story of a boy who dreamt of rock stardom but grew up to be a football God. Fernando Torres is revered by players, coaches and managers, adored in his homeland and idolised by 42 million Liverpool fans across the world. From his birth in Madrid's working-class Fuenlabrada district to his incredible 33-goal first season at Liverpool and his winning goal in the final of Euro 2008, renowned sports journalist Luca Caioli goes behind the scenes of Torres' life to find out what makes the new hero of Anfield tick - as well as kick. Using often exclusive material from interviews with Rafael Benitez, Vicente Del Bosque, Andres Iniesta, Kenny Dalglish, Fabio Capello and Torres himself, Caioli paints a dazzling personal portrait of one of the world's most exciting young footballers.
professional league said that it had never seen anything like it before. Torres denied having signed a contract which obliged him to leave and denied absolutely having any preferred option for that club. His representatives talked of compensation of 2,600 million pesetas (about £13 million) if Atlético did not pay up and Torres was forced to leave for Valencia. It wasn’t the case. The debt was paid off. El Niño’s adventure in Atlético Madrid continued. Chapter 12 Yogurt Conversation with
club is more important than the individual people. And my leaving for Liverpool benefits everyone.’ It benefits Atlético, which, thanks to the money from the transfer, will be able to reinforce the team. And also Fernando Torres, who takes the right European train to be nearer those goals he has always dreamed about. But things are not so simple … Despite the African-level heat and blistering sun, some 100 fans demonstrate outside the gates of the Calderón, shouting at the tops of their voices
in the old Benito Villamarín stadium in the 40th minute. Atlético midfielder Jorge crosses the ball towards the centre. Torres, in a yellow ‘away’ strip, runs, loses his marker, neutralises the defender and lets fly. It’s an artistic action, harmonious and elegant, filled more with agility than energy. It compares to a cat lazily stretching its paws one in front of the other, like an exhibition performance of karate. Thanks to his soaring leap, Fernando touches the ball with the tip of his foot
players older than him in the dressing room but they helped him to be a good captain. They respected him and everyone listened to what he thought. He was the emblematic player and symbol of Atléti but he still didn’t consider himself a star and nor was he,’ recalls Manzano. ‘He was beginning to grow and mature a lot during the season. He’s always been someone who’s open to everything with an extraordinary human quality. If you had to pick out some things, I would choose his ability to surmount
its top-scoring player, Emilio Butragueño). Wearing the white of Madrid between 1975 and 1984, he won five league titles and four Copas del Rey (King’s Cups). He was on the losing side in the famous 1981 European Cup final against Liverpool, which affected him deeply. But from this disappointment he recovered well when, as manager, he brought the Real Madrid of the galácticos (so-called because the team included world-famous star players such as Zidane, Figo and Ronaldo) two Champions League