Despite what the erstwhile Super League rebel clubs would have you believe, the Champions League in the modern era has generally devolved into a procession of Europe’s richest clubs taking turns grabbing fistfuls of money.
It is exactly that dreary few decades of dominance that has made the likes of Villarreal—a team American fans would call a Cinderella—gate-crashing the footballing elite’s parade in the later stages of Europe’s foremost competition all the more fulfilling.
After surviving two losses to Manchester United (lol) in the Champions League group stages, the Yellow Submarine thoroughly dismissed two of football’s most storied clubs in Juventus and Bayern Munich amidst a surprise run to the semifinals.
However, despite manager Unai Emery’s reputation as a cup specialist, the Spanish side know that Liverpool, their opponent in the last four, are a different proposition all together.
“It’s almost like they’re not there and then they take advantage of every mistake. We have to know who we’re up against and it’s okay to recognize that they’re the favorites.
“But so were Juve and Bayern.”
While Liverpool are intimidatingly making a solid go at pushing for an unprecedented quadruple, the current Europa Cup holders can take solace in the fact that they are on a decent run of form themselves, losing only four out of their last 20 games in all competitions dating back to the start of 2022.
“We’re here to prepare, work hard and continue to surprise,” Torres continued. “In the end we have nothing to lose. We’re hungry to do great things.
“We’ll be less of a surprise as we’ve just eliminated Juve and Bayern; Liverpool will be a little more humble than Bayern were.
“We’ll prepare conscientiously knowing what we’re training for.”
The Reds will host the first leg this upcoming Wednesday in what is sure to be an exciting affair.