“I told the club to listen to that offer as that is the team I wanted to play for. It’s one of the best, if not the best, club in Europe” – Fernando Torres, July 2007.
“They [Chelsea] are one of the biggest teams in Europe and are always fighting for everything” – Fernando Torres, January 2011.
It could all have been so different. Instead of leaving the club as a legend, as Alonso did, Fernando Torres has left a pariah. In my eyes, he has committed a far more serious crime against my club, and our fans than Michael Owen ever did.
We all know about his “You’ll Never Walk Alone” captain’s armband at Atletico. We thought it meant something, we thought he was red. We took him to our hearts, we thought he understood us, thought he was one of us.
Typically, when he was good, we cheered, sang his name, bounced his bounce! When he was poor, we sang louder, bounced higher because that is the Liverpool Way. Even over the last 18 shocking months, Torres was supported to the hilt.
Wanting a move away from Anfield is a player’s prerogative. It’s about handling your departure with dignity. Torres has none. Two weeks ago, he claimed to be as committed to Liverpool FC then as he was on day 1. 3 days before the transfer window shut, he put in a transfer request. A move completely absent of honour.
“I’m at a big club now” – Fernando Torres, January 2011.
That quote is another example of Torres’ complete lack of class. Perhaps the Chelsea move is perfect for him. They won’t support him as we did. Remember, they booed Drogba. They won’t love him as we have. On the plus side though, he will fit in with new petulant, moping, sulking strike partners, Drogba and Anelka.
Liverpool FC is a family, Chelsea is a rich man’s folly. Once the Financial Fair Play rules come into affect, the aging Chelsea squad are going to find difficult to challenge and Abramovic will find it difficult to rebuild. Torres could be their last big signing for some time. I hope he enjoys his stay at Stamford Bridge Old Folk’s Home.
He may not wake up this morning, rueing his move. He may not even regret it on Sunday. But once he realises all that he has forsaken, the true support he received from the Kop replacing that with fickle ‘plazzy flag waving’ fans, he will regret it.
To borrow a phrase from Barcelona fans to Figo, “We hate you so much, because we loved you so much”. Your name may appear in our record books, but you’ve forsaken your place in our history.