Rush: Torres is world's best striker
Liverpool's record goalscorer Ian Rush believes Fernando Torres, the man who now wears the No9 shirt he made famous, is the best striker in the world. The Spaniard's hat-trick against Hull City last weekend took his tally to eight goals in his last six Premier League matches.
Torres is edging closer to breaking a long-standing club record of being the fastest to 50 league goals, and needs just four more in his next 15 games after notching 46 in his first 64 top-flight appearances. Should he do that, he will surpass the mark set by Sam Raybould and Albert Stubbins, who both took 80 games to reach the half-century.
In comparison, Rush, who scored 346 goals in 660 matches for Liverpool, took 84, Robbie Fowler 88 and Michael Owen 98.
Rush told Press Association Sport: "He has been fantastic. He is the Premier League's top scorer this season and the goals he scored against Hull were great, both right foot and left foot. Had he stayed on the pitch against Hull he could have scored five or six that day.
"With experience I think he will get better. He is only 25 and he is a big plus for Liverpool, as he and Steven Gerrard play really well together. Without doubt he is the best striker in the world at the moment.
"Lionel Messi is a great player, Cristiano Ronaldo is a great player, but they are different to Torres. David Villa is a great striker as well but Torres has proved it in the English league."
'Blessing in disguise'
Despite Torres drawing a blank in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, when Liverpool lost 2-0 to Fiorentina, Rush is hoping the striker will be back to his clinical best against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
"A good side never really has two bad games and the Fiorentina result may serve as a wake-up call," said the 47-year-old at the launch of EA Sports' FIFA 10 video game in London. "It may be a blessing in disguise because in the Champions League you can get away with losing one big game, in the league you won't.
"I think Liverpool will be up for it on Sunday. They had the best record against the top four last season. They beat Manchester United home and away, Chelsea home and away and drew with Arsenal home and away.
"The first test comes this season now they play Chelsea. I think they go into the game with the belief they can do it. Hopefully we will see a bit of Torres magic again."