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Fernando Torres Reflects on Emotional Anfield Return

His exit in 2011 left Liverpool supporters feeling jilted, but four years on Fernando Torres' first return as a neutral brought with it an emotional welcome from the Anfield faithful.

Michael Regan/Getty Images

Hindsight makes it easy to evaluate the sale of Fernando Torres as a good bit of business by Liverpool. No doubt that at the time £50m was a huge sum of money, particularly for the output (or lack thereof) that followed from the player, but when he was sold to Chelsea in January of 2011, there was little else to feel other than sadness and disappointment.

Most--present company included--reveled in his struggles after arriving at Stamford Bridge, and his failures in a blue shirt first led to a loan to AC Milan in August of 2014 and, eventually, a deal to send him back to Atletico Madrid on a permanent basis. That move has brought renewed form and, from a Liverpool supporters' perspective, a softening of the hard feelings that developed after he left Merseyside nearly four years ago.

So it would follow that his return in the All-Star Charity Match on Sunday afternoon might bring with it some conflicting emotions, but in the end it was a roundly positive experience for both player and supporters, with Torres welcomed back as one of Liverpool's own rather than as someone who betrayed the club. It was an emotional experience for the striker, one that clearly meant quite a bit:

"It was just very emotional. I didn't know how to react because I was not expecting them to sing the song which I still remember. I remember the great games we had here in the Champions league and trying to win the league and fighting for trophies. I have this song in my head and it was so important for me. Those three and a half years changed my entire life and I remember every important moment there was always that song from the Kop. So to hear that once again is something I will never forget.

"Everybody knows Liverpool fans are different class and for me today it is one of those things you can only dream about. It is just amazing to be able to be here and I just want to thank everybody for the welcome. It's difficult to explain what you feel when you are in Anfield and playing a football match in Anfield. It's difficult to explain when you are playing for the home team, it's a bit different when you are playing for the away team! But today was a day I will never forget for sure."

Right, so can we feel okay about this now? For old times' sake?

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