TORRES: CARE FOR THIS
It is on the European stage that Fernando Torres has been at his most productive in front of goal of late. Now the target is for the striker and team-mates to extend the campaign by one more game by beating Basel and making the Europa League final.
Seven of the 19 goals Torres has scored this season have been in European competition, and four have been in his last three Europa League matches. Speaking before training in Basel's St Jakob-Park stadium on Wednesday evening, the Spaniard highlighted progress in the knockout stages of the tournament as good signs for a developing side.
'All the team is enjoying this competition,' Torres said.
'To be out of the Champions League was a very disappointing time for us but we started thinking about the Europa League and it is one of the more important targets for us this season.
'We have given a really good performance in this competition and we have shown everyone who was maybe saying Chelsea do not care about this competition, they are going to be more focused on the FA Cup and the league, that it was not true. We are already in the semi-finals and we want to go through.
'I am a part of a team and the team is doing really good performances, so it is easy for a striker to score goals when the team plays well.'
Torres's enjoyment of playing in the Europa League does not mean he wants to repeat the experience next season. He is quite clear he wants to be back in the Champions League in 2013/14, and competing in it wearing Chelsea blue.
'I have three more years' contract so I am expecting to be here at least three years more,' he said.
'We won the Champions League last year and hopefully we can win the Europa league this season and finish in the top four, because we want to go back in the Champions League next season and keep winning trophies.
'I think we have a great squad and a young squad to build on, and we are sure we are a great team and want to show everyone, and I would like to be involved and I am sure I will.'
Torres is expected to lead the line again tomorrow evening in Switzerland, with Demba Ba ineligible, and he will be wearing the face protection he has sported since breaking his nose against Steaua Bucharest in mid-March. The mask has led to him being dubbed 'Zorres' by some but its time might soon be up.
'My nose is getting better and next week we will go to the doctors to have a scan to see if everything is fine and I can play without a mask,' reported Torres.
'It is not comfortable at all but it depends on the scan results. Maybe I wear it until the end of the season because there are not many games to come.'