Fernando Torres is confident he can now fully contribute to Spain's FIFA World Cup™ cause and hopes his country can reap the benefits of his "perfect" understanding with David Villa.
The Liverpool forward played for 70 minutes in the 2-0 win over Honduras on Monday night as he continues his recovery from knee surgery. He found himself in goalscoring positions but perhaps lacked the killer instinct he has shown so often in the past for club and country, with strike partner Villa instead grabbing the headlines with two goals, a missed penalty and an unsavoury off-the-ball incident.
"I played 70 minutes and the good news is I feel ready to last for 90 minutes for the first time since my recovery," said Torres. "Villa and I have said we understand each other perfectly and hopefully we can play together again, although we've always said that if we don't then it doesn't matter as long as the team works well."
Villa and I have said we understand each other perfectly and hopefully we can play together again.
The next test for Spain is a game against Group H leaders Chile, a match Torres is determined to win to avoid the top team from Group G - most likely to be Brazil. New Barcelona recruit Villa set Spain on the path to victory with a superb individual effort and then added a second early in the second period to kill off Honduras and he insisted the team came into the match with no hangover from their opening defeat to Switzerland.
He said: "Our defeat against Switzerland was already water under the bridge, we talked about it and it's not logical to look back. We played in the same style as we played against Switzerland, we attacked and played short passes.
"This first group of games is very difficult, we still have a match to play against Chile. Being world champions is a long way down the road. Not just for any national squad, but in terms of time as well, there is a long time to go before the final and there are many matches to play before then. At the moment we are focused on Chile, beating them and moving on to the next round."
For Honduras the path to the last 16 is almost blocked. They need to beat Switzerland in their final group match and hope Chile do likewise against Spain, and for a goal difference swing in their favour.
Coach Reinaldo Rueda said: "It is going to be a difficult match, Switzerland have a great squad, but every single game in this tournament is different. You have to have stamina and psychologically you have to be very strong to take on board the defeats and then try to play an excellent match."