Torres: The Making Of A Legend

SPAIN striker Fernando Torres set a record for the highest league tally by a foreign player in his Premier League debut season for Liverpool, surpassing Ruud van Nistelrooy’s mark of 23 league goals in the final game of the 2007-2008 campaign against Tottenham to reach the milestone of 24.

 

Then on Sunday the 24-year-old capped his incredible year by scoring the winner in his nation’s 1-0 victory over Germany in the final of Euro 2008.

Pedro Calvo coached Torres during his time in Atletico Madrid’s youth academy.

Before Spain’s Euro 2008 Group D opener against Russia, Calvo told BBC Sport about his time working with the young forward and how he always believed he would become a world-class player.

Calvo on coaching Torres: “He was one of the best players I had seen in a long time, so I was very excited when I found out I had the opportunity to coach him.
And he’s the same person now as he was when he was a young boy. He continues to be a player that epitomises teamwork, humility, and goodwill. That’s why he captained almost all the teams he represented.

Then, as now, one of the most important aspects of his game was his pace, in addition to his composure in front of goal. When most young players, around the age of 13, would get nervous at the crucial moment, Fernando would excel.”

Calvo on the move to England: “I always knew he’d make it as a professional. I never had any doubts. In fact, I still have an article that was published in the newspaper Marca when we were about to compete in the European tournament after winning the Under-14 Spanish Championship title.

“We had a young team with many boys who later became world-famous players and

I had always said that if Fernando continued to progress he would achieve similar success.

Fernando had great leadership qualities on and off the pitch. Sometimes footballers learn from their experiences and grow in maturity. Others put their ego first but this was never the case with Fernando.

If he didn’t play because of injury, other players missed him. He was often the difference on the pitch, the one who could change the course of a game with his skill and vision.”

Calvo on Torres making the grade: “We had a young team with many boys who later became world-famous players and I had always said that if Fernando continued to progress he would achieve similar success.

Fernando had great leadership qualities on and off the pitch. Sometimes footballers learn from their experiences and grow in maturity. Others put their ego first but this was never the case with Fernando.

If he didn’t play because of injury, other players missed him. He was often the difference on the pitch, the one who could change the course of a game with his skill and vision.”- — BBC Sports.

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