Torres relishing French challenge
Fernando Torres is keen for as much international playing time as possible despite Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez's concerns over his injured striker who has recently returned from a lengthy lay-off.
Benitez will be hopeful Torres returns from Spain duty without picking up any new knocks in the European champions' friendly against France on Wednesday. Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque has denied falling out with the Liverpool boss after naming Torres in his squad and insists he will monitor the amount of time the forward is on the pitch.
But Torres claims Benitez's worries are of little concern to him. "Rafa has enough to deal with with what he's got," he told reporters as he arrived at Spain's training camp. "It's normal that he's thinking about his interests but he knows that all the players want to go to the national team.
"For us it is an honour to be here, to play as much as possible and to return as fit as possible to our teams. Luckily I recovered in time. To be in the national squad is a prize for me. I have the good fortune that the coach called me up after playing just two games since I recovered."
Torres marked his first start since 13 January with the winning goal in the bruising 2-1 victory over Blackburn at Anfield yesterday. The 25-year-old has now scored 13 goals in 17 Premier League appearances and despite having missed nearly six weeks after a knee operation he is still the club's top scorer.
Torres will be hoping to replicate that form on Wednesday against France, with La Roja wanting to avenge their 3-1 defeat at the hands of Les Bleus which saw them knocked out of the last FIFA World Cup™. "I'm tired after playing nearly 90 minutes after two months of not doing so," he said. "But I'm ready for as much as the coach thinks is right.
"These games are always special for Spain. We can't wait to play against them, especially after they knocked us out of the last World Cup. We always have it in for them."