July 4th 2007, the day an instant fan favourite was born. 15 years ago today Fernando Torres joined Liverpool from Atletico Madrid for around £26.5 million.
The signing came following Liverpool UEFA Champions League final defeat to AC Milan. A statement of intent from Manager Rafael Benitez, this was Liverpool breaking their all time record signing figure, passing the £14 million the reds paid French side Auxerre for forward Djibril Cisse.
'El Nino' scored 90 goals for Atletico Madrid before his move to Anfield with him still only being 23-years old at the time of the switch.
Torres would hit the ground running with a home debut goals against rivals Chelsea, kickstarting him to go on and score 81 times in 142 games for Liverpool.
From a personal standpoint, Torres was my first favourite player. Being only 20-years old myself, Torres was who'd I would always pretend to be in the playground. He boasted huge popularity with Liverpool fans both Senior and Junior, to the point I remember backing a Torres lead Spain in the 2008 Euro's.
His Pace, his somewhat surprising strength both on and off the ball tied with his instinctive and breath taking dribbling mesmerized Kopites. Not to mention his elite finishing ability, both with his feet in the air. Compile all his incredible attributes with his blonde locks and Torres had the whole package.
With important and beautiful goals against the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Marseille coinciding with his efforts on international duty for Spain, such as the Euro 2008 winner, it was all but certain Torres was an Anfield Legend in the making.
But for obvious reasons, Fernando Torres joined a unique list of players who's Liverpool legacy is tainted by their moves away. On January 31st 2011, Fernando Torres made a deadline day switch to direct rivals Chelsea for £50 million, being considered by many reds as nothing more than traitor.
There is no doubt Fernando Torres tarnished the love and legacy between him and the Anfield faithful with his treacherous move to Stamford Bridge, but in hindsight the move was best for all.
Liverpool's former '9' was on a steady decline partly due to his injury concerns (as seen during his time at Chelsea) and the fee commanded for him helped sign an even better successor in Uruguayan Luis Suarez.
After a great stint in Merseyside, Fernando Torres was perhaps willing to throw his Anfield connection away to peruse glory with rivals Chelsea, but it was Liverpool who were the winners in the end, getting the best out of the Spaniard before receiving a record fee.
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