Such was the severity of El Nino’s dip in form after his arrival at Stamford Bridge and the fact that he struggled so badly for so long, the initial expectation slowly vanished as the forward was written off as phenomenally-expensive flop. By the time the former Atletico Madrid and Liverpool man finally did start to find the net this season, it was almost a bolt from the Chelsea blue. Perhaps if the club continues to spend money the attention will be on the new arrivals and the 28-year-old can continue his resurgence under the radar. What he needs now though is a good European Championship. If he can take his chance with Spain as they look to retain their Euro crown, then maybe it will help him over his Premier League hurdle when the new season starts.
The news that David Villa would not make the tournament due to injury was a blow to Vicente del Bosque’s squad but one man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity. Torres was generally required to be a substitute at the last two tournaments as Villa scored freely but now surely here is his chance. Due to his sporadic form his place is not guaranteed with the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Fernando Llorente also pushing hard for a start. Torres though has the most international experience with over 90 caps and nearly 30 goals. He also scored and looked sharp on his last start for the national side in the 4-1 win over South Korea. Negredo started against China on Monday but drew a blank.
At major tournaments the forward’s form has been a bit of a mixed bag. His first outing was Euro 2004 where he failed to net but he then scored three at the 2006 World Cup. At the last European Championships he scored only twice as Spain lifted the trophy. Torres played second fiddle to Villa but critically one of his two strikes was the winner in the final against Germany. He then collected his World Cup winners medal two years later in South Africa but did not score during the tournament.
Playing for Spain must be a striker’s dream, as one of the best midfields in history create perfect opportunities to score.
This summer’s tournament represents a terrific opportunity for a man who has endured over 18 months of indifferent form. Form though is temporary and class is permanent. Torres has the quality to deliver but can he do it with the whole football world watching. You can get 18 or even 20 to one on the Chelsea man to finish Euro 2012 as top scorer. Any takers?