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.
difference. They play their next match against Belgium who, surprisingly, have beaten the Germans 2-1. It finishes as few were expecting, with a 5-0 scoreline in favour of Spain, including a double from El Niño, although no one yet calls him that. The last group game against Germany is to be played at Durham. For the boys in red, a victory or draw would see them through, although even a defeat would be enough because they have a three-point lead over their German rivals. The result is a bad 0-2
outcome. There’ve been matches that his team has won, matches that my team has won, and matches where he’s scored against us. He’s always a really difficult striker to keep under control.’ Let’s move on from confrontations to the national side. How would you describe the experience of winning the Euro 2008 tournament playing in the same team? And how did you both get on together? ‘We got on really well and with all the others in the team. It was the same group of players that had won the
not really that he’s going to get better, it’s that he has the attitude and the mentality to maintain what’s already a fantastically good level. It’s like Leo Messi. Everyone says he’s going to get better. No he’s not. But it doesn’t matter because he’s already absolutely brilliant.’ GB: ‘He’s seven out of 10. On a psychological level, confidence helps him a lot. He controls the ball well but he has to improve because he won’t have that speed all his life. He must perfect his first touch and
going through. But with the second half barely under way, it’s clear that the host nation has no intention of being kicked out of its tournament. A great strike by Nuño Gomes puts them 1-0 up in the 56th minute. Saint Iker (Casillas) can’t get to it. Like this, Portugal go through. Five minutes later, Fernando has a chance for the equaliser. A splendid assist from Xabi Alonso, but as keeper Ricardo comes out of his goal, El Niño puts it onto the post. He despairs, he cannot believe it. He puts
against Latvia. He’s satisfied because the set pieces and tactical plays practiced in training sessions have worked. He won’t score another goal until the final, against Germany, but his contribution against the yellow-shirts is vital. El Niño is finally a star, his elusive runs cause pandemonium among central defenders, his ability to shake people off opens up space, he battles for every ball and he puts in the teamwork by dropping back to defend. And he also acts as a peacemaker between the