TORRES: MUCH TO DO
Fernando Torres has given an interview on the back of playing a part in Chelsea's Champions League triumph, looking forward to next season as well as back on his first silverware won with a club side.
Here's what he said:
In the FA Cup and Champions League we have seen a Chelsea team with different attitudes - from the one that came to win offensively at Wembley to the ultra-defensive one in Barcelona or Munich. Which identity better shows the spirit of the team?
The team spirit is always to compete. We learned to adapt to the stage and the opponent, appreciate their strengths and weaknesses and our limitations. We were able to apply the best tactics and the best attitude to win every time. No one can say that we did wrong.
Chelsea has shown that when it wants to, it can score against any team, as seen at Camp Nou and at the Allianz Arena. Do you think that potential to score has been sacrificed in favour of a strategy centred around containing defensively?
The strategy of the team has been to win the rounds. The results say that sacrificing our offensive potential to focus on our defence potential has been the right decision after studying and analysing each opponent. There are moments when we can take the pace of the game while in others we can´t.
When you signed for Chelsea a year and a half ago you said that your goal was to win titles at club level. That test has been passed. What is your next challenge?
Now I'm still enjoying it. Next year we have already two finals to play, we will be in the Club World Cup, and again we will compete for the four trophies that we can win each season. When you win you always want more and more. On a personal level I want my scoring levels back and to keep rewarding the fans for all they give me with goals and titles.
What has Roberto Di Matteo done so well and what did André Villas-Boas do so bad?
There are different moments and different situations, you cannot compare them.
This first Champions League title for Chelsea, is it the final step before a change of generation?
It doesn´t have to be. I see it as the beginning of a memorable age. We made history but the best is yet to come.
How is life at a Champions League final? Is it similar to that you have lived through with the national team at the Euros and World Cup?
You cannot compare, they are different. Personally, Munich is the one I suffered more at, watching it from outside, entering the field with all seeming lost, living the last part the way it was. When [Didier] Drogba scored the final penalty I felt an unbelievable emotion. My childhood dream came true. I could never forget it.
Why aren´t you happy at Chelsea?
At Chelsea I am very happy and I never said the opposite. I still have a lot to do in this club - meet personal goals, return confidence and love to thank. It has been a difficult year, I didn´t play much and my mind was like a rollercoaster. I felt bad, very bad and I would not like to feel that way again. But I have never surrendered and I never will.
What treatment did you expect that hasn´t been given you?
When Chelsea signed me they did it with great expectations. The confidence of the owners and the fans has been unconditional, but my role in the team has not followed that line.
As always, I look at myself and think that I have not known how to be essential for the coaches I've had. It is another goal to accomplish. And I will, at all costs.
How is your relationship with Di Matteo?
It is smooth, honest and clear. We dialogue a lot, and I hope to convince him that I can be the player he expects, someone indispensable, not anyone. I will keep working for it and, as always, respect his decisions. He helped me at a critical time and I am very grateful to him. He has proved he knew what he was doing.
Is the exit of Drogba what you need to feel important?
Didier is a club legend and what he has decided is respectable. I can only wish him the best and I feel proud to have shared so much with him. I want to play with the best and he is one of the best. I do not understand why it has to be one or the other and not both.
You have always received the support of the club, do you perceive that it remains?
My goal was to talk to them at the end of the season, I needed to know what plans they had for me. We've talked and now I have no doubt what they expect of Fernando Torres. I just want to start next season already.
The Chelsea fans have shown an unconditional loyalty to you. Are the titles for them?
All you get at this club is for them. They have given me the strength when I was lacking it, they have excited me when I was sunk, they have shown why I have to be proud of being a Chelsea player. I have nothing but gratitude for them. Heartfelt thanks. My desire is to come back with more celebrations.
If your statements after winning the Champions League in Munich are understood to be a search for the best project, what does Chelsea need to return to challenging for the Premier League title?
Chelsea will always challenge for the Premier League. I don´t know the projects of others, but I am convinced that ours will be exciting.
Why was the Premier League campaign so inconsistent?
We have not been at a high level at key moments. When we realised, it was too late for almost all competitions and only the cups were left, because the League was already lost. The players are the only ones responsible.
You never went so long without scoring before, what happened?
It was a mental block, I felt really bad. I felt very well on the field this season because I have become a more complete player, but the ball did not fall and I felt I was never in the correct position. I watched many videos to study the movements of other strikers, including mine from my time at Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. It helped me a lot because I lost the fear of being in the area. At this point, I also want to thank Steve Holland, the assistant coach, for the work he did with me to help me.
Did you lack the confidence of the coaches?
I believe that I deserved to play more. So for the future I hope to earn that trust with work and I will not stop until I do it.
Did you really think of surrendering?
There were times when I lost hope and that never happened to me before. It's the worst feeling in the world when you love your profession. I became the player I hate. Luckily it is part of the past. Now all I have in mind is to fulfil dreams.
Are you at one of the crucial moments of your career?
I fulfilled a dream and I'd say it's a very happy moment but I demand more. The best is yet to come. Now we have to keep dreaming.
You have lived a contradictory year, you went through bad times but also won your first titles with a club.
Football is like that and that´s why it is so beautiful. You never know what will happen the next day. This year I learned more than ever - enough to write a book.
At Camp Nou did you recover part of the lost self-esteem?
By that time I had it back already. I had no doubts about what I could give and I was just expecting complete confidence, but I didn´t know how to gain it.
What do you search for now after winning the Champions League - which is your most desired title?
Now I hope to win the Club World Cup, it would be awesome. I am also excited about winning another Champions League, but with the script I'd have written. And, already dreaming, a Premier League would be very special.
You will face Atletico Madrid in the European Super Cup - playing against your original team. Emotionally I count the days left for that game. I will win no matter what. I expect to play and not as happened on other occasions. It will be strange, but pretty at the same time.