Spain's Fernando Torres has paid tribute to his African fans after scoring three goals against New Zealand at the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009.

The 25-year-old Liverpool striker scored the fastest hat-trick of his career in Spain's 5-0 defeat of the All Whites on Sunday evening and his name rang loudly around the ground in Rustenburg.

"I would really like to thank all my African fans for the friendly treatment I have received," he said. "It's almost like home.

"It's great to be in a team that is winning fans all over the world, not just in Europe," said Torres. "It is good that we can keep our fans here happy, not just this year, but hopefully at the World Cup next year."

Torres's hat-trick came in the first 17 minutes of the game, with Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Valencia's David Villa also getting on the scoresheet.

It's great to be in a team that is winning fans all over the world, not just in Europe.
Spain's Fernando Torres

"I've never got a hat-trick so quickly and it was nice to achieve that with the national team," said Torres, who has now scored 22 goals for his country.

"I owe it to my colleagues. I score, but I benefit from the work done behind me."