I have a friend that always says that Fernando Torres leaving Liverpool was the worst break up she ever had. I had became a fan just as he left, so wasn’t privy to the joy that he brought on the pitch - I only knew him as the guy that said he left because he wanted to win trophies and how much that hurt everyone.
But when he comes back and says nice things about where the club are at now, having won a couple trophies in his absence, it’s... well, it’s enough to warm someone’s heart.
Torres, now the manager for the Atlético Madrid U19s, was back in Liverpool on Wednesday and at Anfield to watch the Champions League match that evening. He was able to revel in what we’ve all been watching for a few years now - the goal scoring brilliance that is our front three, including his former Chelsea teammate Mohamed Salah.
“You’re always talking about individual trophies for players when they win trophies at the same time, but I think he has been one of the best two or three players in the world in the past five or six years. It’s amazing, the consistency,” Torres told the club website, speaking of Salah and how his game has elevated.
“You can see he breaks all the records and keeps scoring goals. We chat sometimes and I’m really happy for him because I saw him when he came to England – it was difficult at the beginning but he is a great guy and a great player and he is showing the world.”
As we all well know, it’s not just Salah that brings a level of skill to the squad that we’d been missing. It’s the collective of Salah, Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino that makes the magic happen, with the added sprinkle of Diogo Jota - another Atlético graduate.
“I really enjoyed watching the games when Mane, Firmino and Salah were up front and was enjoying them score,” Torres continued.
“Mo was my teammate at Chelsea and it was difficult for him at the beginning. I’m so happy to see him at the top of the world right now, scoring for fun and being one of the most important players in the world in the last few years.
“Diogo Jota was really young when he came to Atletico. We shared a pre-season together and it’s really nice to see how he is improving and being a really important player, starting for Liverpool many times and scoring goals.
“You can see when the team is working – and as a team it’s working – all the players get better. So, as a striker, I’m really enjoying watching these three or four players attacking, scoring goals and creating chances. It’s really exciting.”
Now managing himself, and having worked under a couple great managers, went on to praise the work that Klopp has down to turn our Reds into the mentality monsters that they are.
“It’s amazing. From outside you can see all the hard work the club is doing and Jürgen also. The level of the team is huge, it’s great. You can see the people are still enjoying. I think Jürgen understood from the first day the passion of the fans and they put it all together to create a great team,” Torres said.
“Everybody remembers the team that won the Premier League back, and the Champions League. They are one of the contenders in the last few years; also this season.
“For me, it’s always special to see Liverpool playing and to be back in Liverpool is even more special because it’s the first time I will watch a game here in England since I retired – and it should be here in Liverpool.”
Regardless of what any fan may still think of Torres, his love of Liverpool still runs deep.