Torres: Fans' support surpassed everything
Fernando Torres has admitted he might have given up all hope of succeeding at Chelsea but for the support of the club's fans.
The FIFA World Cup™-winning striker has revealed that one of the greatest memories of his career was off the field, when a substitute during a match at Wolverhampton Wanderers, while the supporters chanted his name.
Torres marked a year at Stamford Bridge this week but it was hardly an anniversary to celebrate for the 27-year-old, who remains on course to be remembered as one of the most expensive flops in the history of football.
The £50million man has scored just five times in 44 Chelsea appearances since last January's move from Liverpool and is currently on his longest goal drought yet. Three-and-a-half months, 17 games, or 1,000-plus minutes - whichever way you look at it, the statistics make grim reading for the Spain striker.
But at least he is being given the chance to end his long wait, having started every game in 2012 while Didier Drogba is on CAF Africa Cup of Nations duty. The same could not be said back in November, as he lost his place to Drogba, when the only thing keeping him going was the comfort of knowing the fans still backed him.
"I would like things to be much better but the support they give me every day is amazing," Torres told Chelsea TV. "I remember a game against Wolverhampton and I was on the bench, and they were still singing my name.
"I've been very lucky to live very good moments but that game, when I was in the middle of nothing and not playing, was maybe the best memory I have in all my career. At the beginning of the season, I went through a hard moment, I was not playing, things were wrong and I was eight games without playing - I had never been in this situation before.
"The only thing that gave me hope was the support of the people. That game against Wolverhampton showed me there are important things to fight for, the love of the fans, the support of the club. My team-mates as well, but the fans are the ones who have always been there from the first day until now."
If the support of the fans in November's Wolves game provided Torres with arguably his best memory, there can be little doubt about his worst. Although he scored for the first time this season in September's game at Manchester United, the striker also produced one of the worst open-goal misses in Premier League history.
"Hopefully, this kind of thing happens once in a life, because it is so hard," said Torres, as he prepared to face Sir Alex Ferguson's men once more tomorrow. "I've had good games against Man U, I scored last time and hopefully we can beat them and get three more points."