Skip to main content

Fernando Torres: Eye of the Storm


Fernando Torres has been nicknamed “el niño,” which means “the boy” in Spanish. For me, though, el niño is the band of warm water temperatures that occasionally occurs in the Pacific Ocean, which combines with atmospheric conditions to produce a lot of rain here. Rain that is desperately needed due to a severe drought in California. So I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Milan’s new “el niño” could also potentially end a drought of winning ways for us. He has the potential to be the eye of the storm.

Torres should be right at home in the trophy room

In today’s society, and particularly with the evils of social media, people are not known for their triumphs, but rather their failures. Torres is a perfect example of this. No one remembers that in 2008, Torres finished third for both the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards only behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, or even more recently that he won the Golden Boot award at Euro 2012. Instead, Torres is remembered for his struggles to score since his move to Chelsea. But before that, he won on the biggest stages. In addition to winning the World Cup in 2010 and two consecutive Euros with Spain in 2008 and 2012, he also won the U16 and U19 Euros with Spain in 2001 and 2002. And despite his reputation, he actually won the FA Cup, the Champions League, and the Europa League with Chelsea, and was even a protagonist in the latter two wins.

Torres came onto the scene for Atletico Madrid, the club his grandfather loved and thus so did he. But even before that, he actually began his career as a child playing goalkeeper like his brother. At the age of seven, he joined a neighborhood indoor league, where he switched to striker. His inspiration was reportedly the characters from the Japanese anime series “Captain Tsubasa,” a show about a footballer and his friends who use unrealistic and ridiculously flashy moves to score on the pitch. He joined Atletico Madrid’s youth teams after earning a trial at the age of 11. He signed his first professional contract with Atletico at the age of 15, and debuted with the first team shortly after his 17th birthday.

The young captain playing for the club of his heart

His first couple of seasons with Atletico’s first team were not that impressive, the first due to an injury, and the second season being played in the Spanish Segunda Division. But he went on to score 91 goals in 244 appearances in all competitions for his beloved club, and was named captain at the tender age of 19 years old.

From there, Torres would move to the Premier League, with Liverpool. This is where he really made a name for himself. In four seasons, he scored 81 goals in 142 appearances. This coincided with his successes for the Spanish national team as well, with the first Euro win and the World Cup win coming during his time at Liverpool.

A ridiculous amount of goals scored for Liverpool

Fate would catch up to him, though, as he would move to Chelsea in January of 2011. After moving there, he made 18 appearances and scored only one goal in his first six months. Those are Matri numbers, and that is where his reputation for being washed up comes from. In his four subsequent seasons with Chelsea, he scored 44 more goals in 154 appearances. Nothing compared to his previous deluges of goals, but not as shameful as the Matri numbers, either, and a number of them important goals for the team.

His individual and team awards give him the pedigree of a world class player, and I do not use that term lightly here. But his past five years or so have earned him the reputation of a fallen star. So which Torres will show up for his loan at Milan? Will he let the goals rain again and help us end our winning drought? Or will he be another a Matri? I really highly doubt he’ll be the latter. At the age of 30, he may not be the young up and coming striker that Milan fans wanted, but he also has experience. A lot of experience. Not just in scoring, but in winning. Winning almost everything there is to win. And under Pippo’s watchful eye, I believe that he is more likely to find his form again than not. Also, he has always played his best wearing red. Coincidence? I hope not.

People forget that he did score for Chelsea, even if it wasn't as prolifically as before

And if none of that convinces you, remember that he is a family man, with a wife and two adorable children. And also that he is a huge Tolkien fan, with a tattoo of his name in Tengwar, the script Tolkien used to write Elvish languages, on his left arm. He has also made an appearance in a music video for El Canto del Loco, a Spanish pop rock group. And he made a cameo appearance in Torrente 3: El protector, a Spanish comedy film, too. All of these things give his character dimensions, but his character is a massive bonus for Milan. We are used to reforming thugs, and I think this is one of the things Inzaghi means when he has talked about bringing back the Milan DNA. Torres has great character and work ethic, he was reportedly the first one to training every day at Chelsea, so he’s exactly the kind of person Milan needs off the pitch, too.

Just as I hope for a lot of rain here in California, I am hoping that Torres is able to make it rain goals this season, too. Not just for Milan and for my obvious desire to return to winning ways in the best way possible. But also for redemption for him. He is a quality player and a good person who deserves to have another chance to prove his worth. And Milan are in the perfect situation for him to do just that. With a storm brewing amidst so many players hungry for winning and redemption, Torres could very well prove to be the eye of the storm for Milan this year. Benvenuto, Torres!


This post inspired by the music of The Cure’s “Prayers for Rain”


Our next match is
Parma vs. Milan
Sunday, September 14 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)