Fernando José Torres Sanz, or Fernando Torres as he is popularly known, is the Spanish striker who plays for Premier League side Chelsea. He is also called by his nickname El Niño, which literally translates into ‘The Kid’ in Spanish. Torres is regarded as one of the greatest strikers of its generation, and he currently holds the British transfer record for the £50 million deal that took him from Liverpool to Chelsea in the January transfer window of 2010.
Torres started his youth career with Spanish club Atletico Madrid – fierce rivals of Real Madrid. He joined the youth team in 1995 before making his debut in 2001. Owing to various reasons, Torres soon became the spearhead for Atletico Madrid not only on the pitch, but off it as well. Torres had established himself as a first-team player in the second season itself, but it was not until the 2003-04 season that he started the scoring regularly. He consistently averaged 20 goals a season for Atletico Madrid and was one of the key reasons for them to do well in the league. His best ever season till date with Atletico Madrid came in the 2003-04 season when he scored 21 goals from 43 matches in all competitions.
He was named as the captain of Atletico Madrid aged just 19. However, there were plenty of rumours regarding clubs from England being interested in him. Even though none materialised during the 2003 and 2004 season, Fernando Torres finally made his much anticipated move to a big club in 2007 when Liverpool signed him for £26 million. He became Liverpool’s record transfer and he immediately started scoring huge number of goals. He scored on his first match at Anfield – against Chelsea. In his first season itself, Torres scored 25 goals in just 33 Premier League matches to write his name firmly within the Anfield faithful.
Torres also became one of the most feared strikers in the subsequent seasons, although certain injury problems limited the number of appearances he could make it season. He spent four seasons with Liverpool before transferring to Chelsea in the 2010 January transfer window. Till date, his first season with Liverpool was his best ever with 33 goals in all competitions. Torres completed his move to Chelsea on the transfer deadline day and made his debut against his former club Liverpool at Stamford Bridge. However, the move did not go to plan for both the club and the player, as Torres struggled for form. His debut goal came in the match against West Ham United, but it was the only goal Torres scored in the first six months for Chelsea.
However, he started at the 2011-12 season in a much improved fashion scoring four goals from 12 matches. He has made 89 appearances for Spain since making his debut in 2003.
Torres is yet to win a major trophy in England, but he has lifted the FIFA World Cup with Spain in 2010 along with the European Championship in 2008.