Fernando José Torres Sanz (born March 20, 1984) is a Spanish football player. He was born in the Fuenlabrada neighbourhood of Madrid and was the youngest player to play for Atlético Madrid and the youngest to become captain (at age 19). Nicknamed 'El Niño' (The Kid) for his youthful face, Torres is a striker for Spain and Liverpool. Torres scored 55 goals over 5 seasons in the Spanish top flight, with only Samuel Eto'o and David Villa scoring more in the same period. Torres also played two seasons in the second division where he scored 7 goals in 40 games.
In 1999, Torres signed his first contract with the club and at the end of the 1999-2000 season he was part of the first team. His next success was at the European Under-16 Championship in England in 2001, where he finished as the Player of the Tournament en route to Spain's victory.
At the time, Newcastle United manager Bobby Robson was apparently informed of Torres' talent by a Newcastle scout.Robson, however, decided against a move for the Spaniard. Torres made his début for Atlético Madrid in the Vicente Calderón Stadium against Leganes and he scored his first goal for the club the following week, in a game against Albacete.
2002 saw Atlético Madrid returning to the first division of Spanish football. In his first season playing in the top division, Torres did not find the transition from second tier football too much of a hindrance as he scored 13 goals. Torres has been the top scorer for Atlético in La Liga for the past four seasons.He is the youngest player to play for Atlético Madrid and the youngest to become captain (at age 19).
In 2003-2004 Torres made further strides as he scored 19 league goals in just 35 appearances. He was also named as Atlético's club captain aged just 19. Atlético also improved, but were pipped for a UEFA Cup place on the final day of the season as they finished 7th behind Sevilla due to goal difference in the two team's head-to-head record (2-1, 0-2).
In this season Torres made his debut for the full Spanish national team on September 6, 2003 in a friendly against Portugal. His first goal for Spain came against Italy on April 28, 2004. At the end of the season Torres was chosen as part of the Spanish squad for Euro 2004. He only appeared as a late substitute in Spain's first two group games, but made the first eleven for the deciding game against Portugal. Torres hit the post in the 62 minute after Nuno Gomes put Portgual ahead on 57 minutes. Spain lost 1-0 and were eliminated.
Atlético's 7th place finish in 2004 did qualify them for the Intertoto Cup, giving Torres his first taste of European club competition. They made the final, but agonisingly lost on penalties, this time to Villarreal.
At his first ever appearance in a World Cup finals at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Torres scored the final goal in a 4-0 victory over Ukraine with a volley. In the second group match, Torres scored twice against Tunisia, in the 76th minute for Spain to take the lead 2-1 and then again from a penalty kick in the 90th. Torres was dropped from the team for a friendly versus Romania in November 2006, but returned to the national side for the friendly against England in February 2007, a 1-0 win for Spain. After the World Cup Torres admitted that he turned down the chance to join Chelsea after the end of the 2005-06 season.
Again in 2007, Torres's future at Madrid was the subject of much speculation after Atlético's inability to secure a UEFA Cup spot. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United were all linked with a move for the player. Following the end of the 2006-07 season, reports in the English media stated that Torres was the main transfer target of Liverpool.
The rumours reached such a fever pitch that Atlético president Enrique Cerezo made a statement saying "We've received no offer from Liverpool or any other club or player". However, a few days later new reports suggested that Atletico had agreed a deal with Liverpool for Torres, the fee rumoured was £20 million plus Luis Garcia. Then on 30 June Atlético announced agreeing a deal with Villareal to sign Diego Forlán (seen as a potential replacement for Torres).
On July 2 it was reported that Torres had cut short his holiday to fly back to Madrid to finalize the move. The next day Torres passed a medical for Liverpool and it was annouced that a farewell press conference would be held in Madrid the on 4 July to bid farewell to the Atlético Madrid fans. Later that day, Atlético officially confirmed his transfer to Liverpool on their website.
Torres will wear Liverpool's number 9 shirt, which has previously been worn by legendary Liverpool strikers Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush. It was revealed during the Liverpool press conference that the fee stood at £27 million. It has also been widely reported that Torres has taken a pay cut as part of the transfer. A drop from £103,000 a week in Spain, to about £90,000 according to The Times.
Torres made his official debut for Liverpool F.C. on July 17, 2007 during a friendly match against Werder Bremen. Torres scored his first goal for Liverpool F.C. on August 3, 2007 during a friendly match against Shanghai Shenhua, which was also his first start. Torres is Liverpool F.C.'s record signing. On August 11, 2007 Torres made his competitive debut for Liverpool F.C. against Aston Villa in a 2-1 win.
He scored his first English Premier League goal on his Anfield debut August 19th, in the 16th minute of the match against Chelsea running on to a Steven Gerrard pass he took the ball past Chelsea's defender Tal Ben Haim and slotted it into the Chelsea net, this silenced many critics including Aaron Williams, a biased Manchester United supporter and infamous media figure. The game ended 1-1 after a bad decision by Rob Styles who gave Chelsea a controversial penalty in the 62nd minute.
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Last Updated : 7th February 2010