This interview was posted on the official site yesterday:
Fernando Torres believes the years he spent playing alongside Steven Gerrard were the finest of his career to date.
The pair formed an intuitive partnership during the Spaniard’s three-and-a half-year spell at Anfield and at times during that period they proved one of the most electric combinations in European football.
And as the Liverpool skipper reached a landmark 600th appearance for the club, the current Chelsea No.9 spoke of his immense gratitude to Gerrard for the way he influenced his game.
“I think it’s an amazing achievement for him [to reach 600 games] and it is very well deserved,” said Torres.
“I enjoyed playing next to him for three and a half seasons. It was probably the best time I have had on a football pitch. I am who I am now thanks to him because he showed me the way.
“So I am happy for him and I am sure that he will play much more than 600 games for Liverpool.”
During his time at Anfield, Torres prospered from Gerrard’s vision, his movement and the Huyton-born midfielder’s ability to deliver a killer pass.
And when asked to explain what marked Gerrard out as such a special player, the Spaniard explained: “He’s a winner. A captain.
“He is the kind of player that everyone loves. He helps all his teammates and he certainly helped me when I arrived at Liverpool. I think he is the type of player that everyone should have at a club.
“Hopefully everything is going very well for him.”
While he has many fine memories of Gerrard the player, forged through his indomitable partnership with the skipper, when asked to name a ‘great Steven Gerrard moment’, Torres plumped for an event which took place when the Spaniard was 21 years old and scoring goals for Atletico Madrid.
“For Stevie and for all the Liverpool fans, when they won the Champions League after coming back from 3-0 down at half-time against AC Milan was a great Steven Gerrard moment,” he said.
“I think he should feel very, very proud of that achievement. But there are many more great things he has achieved. I think if you go to Liverpool and ask the people there, everyone will have a different memory.”
Not surprised really to be honest, he’s admitted to having a hellish last season at Chelsea, i would imagine a lot of soul searching went on and realised the grass wasn’t quite as green as he expected it to be and probably looked back far more fondly on what he has left behind.
He may not have realised his ambitions with us, but i’ve no doubt he loved playing here for the majority of his time, we gave him the platform to mature into a top drawer player. I’m sure if he were asked honestly would he rather be here competing for silverware or Chelsea he would say here, but he couldn’t see that happening so took a very difficult and subsequently controversial decision. I think this wrestling in his own mind is what led to all those bizarre comments which appeared on the surface self justification as to why he was moving, almost as if he was trying to convince himself rather than anyone else.
I still like Fernando. He was a great player and is exactly what we are missing. I would take him back in a heartbeat!
Joe Payton is a Liverpool fan who used to be obsessed with Torres and like to write about it!