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It’s been a mixed season for Fernando Torres. Despite a failed loan spell with Italian giants Milan, in which he scored just one goal in four months, the club decided to sign him. But that wasn’t the end. And following the signing, was shipped out to Atletico Madrid, a club where he is still idolised and revered for his incredible goal scoring talent. Nicknamed El Nino (the Kid) during his initial period with the club (thanks to his striking blonde hair and youthful looks), Torres’ return to the Spanish capital has kick-started a revival of sorts that looks set to be prolonged!
The New Torres: A Striker Reborn
To launch his second stint with the club, Torres was named from the start in a Copa del Rey tie with Madrid neighbours Real. With Atletico holding a two goal advantage from the first leg, everyone was expecting Real to launch a fierce onslaught with Cristiano Ronaldo up-front and centre. Instead, the devastating Torres rolled back the years to sweep Atletico into a first minute lead at the Bernabeu, before doubling his money with a cool strike early in the second half.
Although Real fought back to earn a 2-2 draw on the night, this was not enough to prevent the club from crashing out of the competition. Although Atletico were subsequently knocked out by a rampant Barcelona, the revival of fans’ favourite Torres has delighted fans and offered renewed hope for the future. The question is whether such hype is justified, as Torres has been far from a regular starter since (thanks largely to the form of Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic) and has a minimal gaol return overall.
The Bottom Line
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In truth, Torres will never be the explosive forward that he was during his Halcyon days for Atletico and during his time at Anfield with Liverpool. Persistent injuries have also taken their toll, causing Torres to lose a vital yard of pace in the final third and struggle to gain an advantage over defenders.
For now, however, it should be enough that Torres is back to something more like his best, competing for places and contributing with goals when he is on the field of play. The issue is not with him, but with fans that refuse to manage their expectations and accept Torres as he is today.