Thursday, September 25, 2008

“This season has seen us get off to a good start”

Fernando analyses his club’s start to the season, the Champions League and the Golden Ball in an interview with ‘Radio Marca’

Fernando Torres was the guest on Spanish radio station ‘Radio Marca’. The striker was interviewed by the presenter Miguel Ángel Méndez for their top sports programme. The forward analysed Liverpool’s excellent start to the season both domestically and in Europe, looked forward to the Reds Champions League clash versus Atletico Madrid at the Vicente Calderon Stadium, and talked about France Football’s Golden Ball award.

The Anfield club are unbeaten so far this season, and the Spaniard confirmed that he is happy with his club’s positive start to the new campaign.“This season has seen us get off to a good start, and that is very much appreciated here. If you are still up there by December, then you have serious options of staying there. The big name sides rarely ever slip-up, especially during the first half of the season. If you fall too far behind, you leave yourself very few, if any options. So far this year Man United have dropped some points, Chelsea are looking the strongest side, and we are just one point behind both Arsenal and Chelsea.”

The Anfield club have their sights set on silverware this season, though of all the trophies up for grabs, the Liverpool number ‘9’ feels that the club most desire the league title. “The Premier league is the title which everyone wants, even more than the Champions League, especially considering that the club lifted the title three seasons ago. The players who have been at the club for longer have won every title possible apart from the Premier League, and the players and all also especially the fans want to win it. If they had to decide between the two, they choose the Premier league.”

When asked about which domestic championship he feels is now the most popular, Torres commented that, “a few years ago you would have said that the Italian League was top, then later it was the Spanish La Liga, but now it’s the Premier League. It’s the most exciting championship and the players want to play here. That’s how things stand today. The Premier League is a great source of entertainment for the fans; though they also play their part because they are very passionate about the game.”

Torres had words of praise and encouragement for his fellow striker Robbie Keane: “You have to give him some time. He is a player with good attributes; he knows how to keep possession, he is skilful with the ball at his feet, and he’s the type of player we have been missing. He’s a striker, and all he needs is a goal. I’m sure that after his gets his first, plenty more will follow.”

The striker confirmed to ‘Marca Radio’ that he is looking forward to returning to face his boyhood club on Matchday 3 of the Champions League. “It’s going to be special. Liverpool will be the first really big side to play at the Vicente Calderon. I have memories of playing against Real Madrid and Barcelona, but now after 11 years, Atletico finally make a return to the Champions League. They are going to be up against a club with 5 European Cups, and which can be considered one of the best teams in Europe over the last few seasons. I’m going to be lucky enough to be there, although I’m going to be playing for the opponents. I’m going to see one of my dreams come true, though I am going to experience it playing on the opposing team. No doubt there will be a lot going through my mind. From the day before kick-off, I will be meeting up with employees, and people with who I used to spend the day with. Everything from arriving at the stadium, getting changed in the visitor’s changing room, to stepping out onto the pitch, will be part a special day.”

Fernando Torres believes that he ex-club will have a good season domestically, although they will find life a little bit harder in Europe. “Atletico Madrid are capable of winning La Liga this year, but I feel that it’s too early for them to challenge for the Champions League; although they will be up there amongst the top four or eight sides. Sometimes the experience gained in playing in these types of competitions, plus the experience of playing two-legged ties, is more important than having a great team of players. Atletico are still a little way off sides like Chelsea and Manchester United.”

The Spanish striker is in the running for France Football’s Golden Ball, and according to the forward, the accolade would be, “a great end to the year. However, I feel that Cristiano Ronaldo has a greater chance of winning. Hopefully the award will go to a Spanish player, but Ronaldo is the favourite. He scored 31 goals in the league, picked up the Golden Boot and has played better than the rest.”

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