Fernando Torres plans to stay with Chelsea
MIAMI (AP) -- Fernando Torres doesn't think the return of manager Jose Mourinho to Chelsea will affect his future with the Premier League side.
Speaking on a conference call Friday ahead of Spain's exhibition games in the U.S. against Haiti and Ireland, Torres said Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge is "great news'' for the club and that it will not alter his plans to finish out his deal.
"I have three more years on my contract so I am not worried. I know my future is there,'' Torres said. "To be honest, it is like this every summer. There is talk and speculation. But as I said when I signed my contract, I will be there for five-and-a-half seasons. My future is there, and my present is with the national team.''
The current world and European champion, Spain has topped the FIFA rankings for 20 straight months. Seems like a bit of a mismatch when it plays an exhibition against No. 63 Haiti in Miami on Saturday as La Furia Roja prepares for the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Spain plays Ireland on Tuesday in another exhibition, at New York's Yankee Stadium, before heading to Brazil for the Confederations Cup. It opens against Uruguay on June 16, plays Tahiti four days later and completes the first round against Nigeria on June 23.
Torres had struggled since his move to Chelsea but showed marked improvement in the second half of last season under interim manager Rafa Benitez, the same man who brought him to Liverpool from Spain. The 29-year-old forward, a Atletico Madrid standout before signing with Liverpool, helped Chelsea win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League next season.
"In the beginning it wasn't easy since I didn't score, but over the past year it has been better,'' Torres said. "I have been scoring, but I know I can do better.''
Torres insisted that he had not changed his training methods or mental preparation.
Mourinho was rehired by Chelsea on Monday after three tumultuous seasons with Real Madrid that included one league title, one Copa del Rey championship and conflicts with captain Iker Casillas and other players. The Portuguese manager's first stint with Chelsea was from 2004-07, when he guided the Blues to two league titles and one FA Cup.
Eliminated by the United States in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup, Spain has much the same roster that won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup, keyed by midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.
Midfielder Xabi Alonso, who missed the has undergone surgery after missing several games at the end of last season because of back pain.
The 31-year-old Alonso, who missed Real Madrid's final two games of the Spanish league season because of back pain, is skipping the trip. Real said Friday he was operated on by Dr. Ulrike Muschaweck in Munich.
"Looking at these years I think that we are enjoying our best moments in our history,'' midfielder Juan Mata said. "It's a pleasure and we have to take advantage of this great generation of players that we have and hopefully win the Confederations Cup as it's the only title that the team is missing.''
Haiti coach Blake Cantero has a 19-man roster that includes a pair of Sporting Kansas City players, defender Mechack Jerome and midfielder Peterson Joseph. Haiti is getting ready for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup, where it plays Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, and El Salvador.
"It's a historic moment for us and we feel honored playing the best team in the world,'' Blake said. "We take into account we are playing the World Cup champion, but we must not lose sight that this is also an opportunity to get us prepared for Gold Cup.''
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