Fernando Torres has given an interview to Spanish newspaper AS to mark the Chelsea striker's 30th birthday. He discussed his national team successes and his experiences at Atlético Madrid and Liverpool. Despite making a £50 million move from Anfield to Chelsea in 2011, El Niño still has an obvious affection for both of his former clubs. However, the most striking aspect of his conversation are his comments regarding the "words of affection" Livepool fans still have for him.
When asked about his time at Liverpool, he said: "I played there for three and a half years and I was made to feel right at home, like at (Atlético MAdrid's) Calderón. The support the fans gave me was tremendous, and gave me tremendous confidence and self-assurance when I went out to play.”
He was then asked if he thought Liverpool fans fully understood the nature of his departure for Chelsea. “No, because everything they’ve heard is the version that some people at the club have given to the media and have spread among the supporters," said Torres.
They’ve made it out to be something, which isn’t the truth. I’m sure it isn’t easy to understand why a player leaves, but I focus on the thousands of letters that I receive here in London, from Liverpool fans thanking me and telling me that they follow me now, even though I’m at another club.
When we went to play at Anfield last year, a man of more than 70 years old came to the hotel, almost in tears, and thanked me and wished me the best. There’ll be all sorts of opinions, but the Liverpool fans I’ve come across have had words of affection for me.
Torres does not rule out a return to Atleti one day, and he holds manager Diego Simeone in the highest regard, comparing him to Pep 'Lionel' Guardiola.
He also acknowledged the support of Chelsea fans, especially during times of heavy crtiticism. He said: "They’ve supported me from day one. I’d already seen that when I played there as a rival player – when a player most needs the support of the fans, they’re there. I’ve seen that with [Frank] Lampard, with [John] Terry or with [Ashley] Cole: when they’ve had problems, these supporters have given them a lot of confidence.”
Read the full interview, in English, here.