Atletico Madrid forward Fernando Torres is a man of extremes. There is nothing simple and straightforward about the Spanish striker and this claim is just stating the obvious, which has been following him throughout the years now.
Liverpool fans who burned his shirts when he moved to Chelsea know it best perhaps, but it seems that there is much more to love in him than hate. And that is the ultimate truth.
The 32-year-old Spanish international is hardly a kid anymore as his nickname El Nino would suggest, but he has been turning back the clock to the glory days of his career over the past few weeks with Atletico Madrid, proving there is still some magic left it his boots.
Three in Three
It all started at the beginning of February and his performance against Leganes.
Having displayed quick thinking to touch home a rebound to Antoine Griezmann’s penalty miss, Fernando Torres went on to score second after a smart chop – a kind of a composed finish he boasted some seven years ago when he was at his prime.
The two goals against Leganes brought his entire tally to 100 La Liga goals in a symbolic roundup of his impressive rise back to prominence.
Torres scored another goal at the weekend – a fantastic goal – against Celta Vigo.
Fernando Torres once again brought back the memories with his acrobatic overhead kick, which went on to wow the entire crowd. He went on to miss the penalty himself, but it was hardly enough to erase all of the good work he puts in.
Fine educator as he is despite his flaring temper, Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone was quick to praise the striker he played with at Rojiblancos. Simeone has always been impressed with Torres’ work-rate, his professional attitude and attitude in training which sets clear example to young players.
However, his on-pitch influence cannot be underestimated despite the mere fact he scored only five goals this season.
Torres is providing the necessary cover for Antoine Griezmann – who failed to score in five of seven last penalty kicks – and is also making a clear case for himself in the crucial moment of his career, when it is still unknown if he will be given a contract extension.
Is Fernando Torres’ future really that uncertain after all?
What modern football tends to take away from us is the sense of belonging. And Fernando Torres belongs to Atletico Madrid as much as Atletico Madrid belong to him. A child of the club, the 32-year-old striker is synonymous with the Vicente Calderon outfit despite his Premier League episodes.
He made a name for himself wearing a Liverpool shirt, tarnished his reputation to some extent with an ill-fated move to Chelsea which allowed him to win trophies but never to upgrade his career the way it had been expected.
Ten matches and one goal for AC Milan are not worth mentioning and a return to Atletico Madrid was the only thing imaginable to resurrect his career.
A season-long loan and a then permanent deal helped Torres restore some of the lost confidence, which he is displaying at the moment, proving that contract extension is the last thing on his mind.
Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo hinted at a new deal for Fernando Torres last week, claiming that his contract negotiations will begin in due course.
“Everyone loves him. He is a great player, why wouldn’t we renew his contract?”, Cerezo fired a counter-question which sums up Fernando Torres’ reputation at Atletico Madrid perfectly.
Four months without a goal before the February spark fired up the flames again might be a strong argument to hold against Fernando Torres, but the man of extremes have a kick for doing things the hard way.
What we learned from the February fever is that we should be careful to discard him, to reject his ability to get back to the limelight stronger than ever. With Atletico struggling to grab a firm grip on the top 4 spot, Fernando Torres’ experience might be just what Diego Simeone needs in what may be his last-ever season at Atletico Madrid.
But that is a completely different story.
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