Fernando Torres - Spain Biography
Torres began his International career with Spain playing for the under 16's back in 2001. His first taste of silverware came shortly after winning the Algarve tournament. This gave the team confidence to compete in the under 16 European Championships which were held in England. Fernando had injury problems leading up to the tournament and was unable to play a part in the qualifiers. The manager gave him his chance though and Torres finished the tournament top scorer and the player of the Championships as Spain won the competition. Torres was beginning to make a name for himself outside of Madrid.
That success was short lived as later that year Torres joined up with the under 17's for the World Championship held in Trinidad and Tobago. After a string of poor results the team failed to make it through the group stages. In 2002 Torres was part of the under 19's that went to Norway for the European Championships. Torres scored the winning goal in the final to beat Germany 1-0 as El Nino's love affair with the European Championships continued.
Fernando Torres made his debut for the senior side in a friendly against Portugal in 2003. After scoring his first goal in 2004 against Italy, El Nino was picked as part of Spain's squad for Euro 2004 in Portugal. Torres spent the first two group matches on the bench and played in the third which they lost against Portugal sending them crashing out below Greece on goals scored.
Torres became Spain's top scorer in qualifying for World Cup 2006 scoring seven goals in eleven matches. Spain still had difficulties in qualifying and had to play Slovakia in a play off which they won. In Germany for the finals Spain's young squad breezed through the group stages paying some scintillating football. Torres got his first goal against Ukraine in a 4-0 win then scored two against Tunisia. Unfortunately for Spain they came up against France in the first knockout round and lost 3-1. France went onto the final and lost against Italy on penalties. Torres finished the tournament as Spain's joint top scorer with David Villa both on three goals each.
Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland gave Spain's under achieving stars the chance to shine. Spain breezed through the group stages winning all three matches against Russia, Sweden and Greece. Torres got off the mark with his first goal in a 2-1 win over Sweden. Spain's next hurdle was World Champions Italy in the Quarter Finals which after a goalless 90 minutes and extra time was decided on penalties. Spain banished former memories of penalty defeat to beat the Italians 4-2. Russia was next up in the Semi's and belief amongst the players and fans was sky high as Spain walked into the finals beating Russia 3-0 with goals from Xavi, Guiza and Silva. Spain went into the final without injured top scorer David Villa and it was his strike partner Torres who got the only goal of the game to beat Germany 1-0. The victory ended Spain's 44 year barren run without a title. Torres was named man of the match in the final and was selected alongside David Villa in the team of the tournament.