Fernando Torres says he feels at home in South Africa, the scene of Spain's 2010 World Cup triumph
Posted: 29 September 2017 Time: 13:58
As a young kid growing up in Madrid, Fernando Torres never thought that he would win the Fifa World Cup.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker saw countries such as Brazil, Argentina and Germany winning the biggest prize in football during his time as an aspiring footballer, so he thought the trophy was only meant for a select few.
But in 2010, on South African soil, Torres and the Spanish national team became the first generation of La Roja players to get their hands on football’s most coveted prize, when they beat the Netherlands 1-0 at FNB Stadium, thanks to a strike from midfielder Andres Iniesta.
Dressed in simple white top and shorts after a light training session at the Atletico Madrid training ground on Friday morning, Torres told the group of South African journalists currently in Spain how well he remembers the World Cup campaign, as well as the Fifa Confederations Cup the year before.
Spain went into the competition as one of the favourites after winning the 2008 European Championships, but they had previously let themselves down in previous World Cups with exits in either the quarterfinals or semis, so fans must have made some room for disappointment.
Spain, however, went all the way and Torres realised a dream he never thought would come true. To this day, it remains the most memorable moment in his playing career.
“It was difficult. I remember we lost our first game [against Switzerland]. Everyone wanted to beat Spain. But after that, we started winning, 1-0, 1-0, 2-1.
“It was hard, but in the end, I can only have good memories about the World Cup in South Africa. South Africa is like a second home for the Spanish national team,” he said.
Torres, who did not have a problem to give his views to journalists, continued: “I was also there for the Confed Cup. We played in Bloemfontein, Pretoria and Johannesburg. It was nice to go to South Africa. The World Cup is the most important [trophy] for me. I never dreamt of winning it. I thought it was teams like Brazil and Argentina because, before our generation, Spain had not won the World Cup. So I thought it was for different people. It’s good that the kids of today saw us winning the World Cup and European Championships.”
The 33-year-old is part of the Atletico side that will face Leganes in La Liga on Saturday.
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