Torres: “I am very, very happy”

Liverpool’s new signing Fernando Torres spoke to the press
and to the official site yesterday after he became Liverpool’s club-record
signing in a £20m deal. The former Atletico Madrid player had signed a six-year
contract, worth £90,000 per week.

Torres said to the official site: “I am very, very happy.
This was the biggest decision of my footballing life but I’ve come to a winning
club. This is a club of champions – one of the biggest there is. I now want to
play my part in that and be a champion too and help the club progress. Obviously
growing up in Spain you are aware of all the big clubs there, but you also keep
an eye on Europe, and Liverpool always catches the eye. It always did for me.”

It seems Torres has had his eye on Anfield for some time: “I
had older brothers who’d tell me about the likes of Keegan and Rush, but the
first players I remember seeing as a fan are players like Robbie Fowler. My
main memory is seeing Liverpool’s incredible record in Europe, and I certainly
followed that closely.”

Continue reading Torres: “I am very, very happy”

Nearly there: Torres bids farewell to Atletico

Fernando Torres has said his farewells to the Atletico
Madrid fans he was so fond of and is heading for Liverpool to sign his six-year
contract with The Reds. He passed his medical yesterday but wanted that
opportunity to explain his decision before he put pen to paper. Liverpool have
called a press conference for 3.00 this afternoon to unveil the new number nine.

Speculation still surrounds the amount of the fee, which is
believed to be just £20m, not the £26.5m quoted elsewhere, but either way it is
a club record, beating the £14m Liverpool paid for another number nine, Djibril
Cisse in 2004. That transfer was completed after Rafa Benítez arrived, but had
already been committed to by the club prior to Gerard Houllier’s departure and
had nothing to do with Rafa.

This time Rafa is delighted, although there are stories that
it was the Torres camp that made the first move, letting it be known to
Liverpool that he wanted to move on. Atletico have only qualified for the Inter
Toto and Torres wanted a chance to play in the Champions League. The story also
goes that he didn’t even consider the idea of joining any club other than
Liverpool – it was Liverpool or nobody.

Torres said during his farewell messages that he was a
wrench to leave Atletico, but that he thought he just had to take on this new challenge:
“It has been a difficult decision to leave my all-time club, but it would have
been hard for me to reject Liverpool’s offer. It’s a big leap for me and I
think it was the right thing for everyone. The time comes in a player’s life
that he needs more challenges. I have always done what was best for the club,

He confirmed in his message that Liverpool were the only
club he would leave Atletico for: “The Liverpool offer arrived and I told the
club to only listen to that offer because that is the team I wanted to play
for. It’s one of the best, if not the best, clubs in Europe.”

He’s also proud to be given the number nine shirt, the shirt
he wore for Atletico and Spain, and the number he has in a tattoo: “The fact
that Liverpool are giving me the number nine jersey just goes to show the
confidence they have placed in me, when you consider those who have worn that
shirt before me.”

He’s ready to put the work into adapting to the differences
between Spanish and English football: “A beautiful new adventure begins for me
and I hope that with work and effort I can be among the best players. This is a
unique opportunity for me: Liverpool aim high with everything and that has been
an important factor in my decision to go there. I want to adapt as quickly as
possible. I think Premiership football is a football that fits well with my
style. I will arrive with a lot of joy and full of ambition.”

As for Atletico, Torres was saddened to be leaving, and says
his heart will always be with the Rojiblancos (Red and Whites) whatever
happens: “I will always feel at home at Atletico. I am proud of what I achieved
here; my heart will always be Rojiblanco regardless of where I go. I want to
thank the fans, who have shown a lot of support over the years. It has been a
pleasure for me. I hope to return one day.”

The Atletico management were desperate that Torres told
supporters it was his own choice to go, fearing more protests otherwise. Torres
said that despite being sad to leave he had no guilt about moving on: “My conscience
is clear with what I have achieved. I believe this is a good decision for me
and for the club. I hope that those who come here after me will do what we
haven’t been able to do.”

Continue reading Nearly there: Torres bids farewell to Atletico

Official: Torres passes medical today, will sign tomorrow

Liverpool and Atlético Madrid football clubs have tonight
confirmed officially that Fernando Torres is about to become a Liverpool
player. Torres passed his medical today and will make a farewell speech at Atlético
in the morning, before flying back to England to sign the contract making him
officially a Liverpool player.

Liverpool FC’s website said: “Liverpool Football Club has
announced Spanish striker Fernando Torres has passed a medical ahead of his
proposed move from Atlético Madrid.

“The 23-year-old is now expected to put pen to paper on
Wednesday before being unveiled to the press.

“A club spokesman said: ‘The player has passed a medical.
All the agreements are now in place and he will put pen to paper on the deal on

“Torres scored 82 in 214 appearances for Atlético, while for
Spain he’s bagged 14 goals in 40 games.”

The Atlético website said: “Fernando Torres has been
transferred to Liverpool and will give a press conference on Wednesday, July

“Club Atlético de Madrid has reached an agreement with
Liverpool Football Club in regards to the transfer of Fernando Torres. The
player, accompanied by Mr. Enrique Cerezo, will give his final farewells in a
closing press conference on Wednesday, July 4th in the VIP Room at Vicente
Calderon Stadium at 10:00 in the morning.”

Continue reading Official: Torres passes medical today, will sign tomorrow

Luis leaves Anfield

Luis Garcia has left Liverpool for a new phase in his career
at old club Atletico Madrid. The attacking midfielder had been at Anfield for
three years, memorably scoring the goal that still hurts Jose Mourinho and
which sent Liverpool on their way to Istanbul in 2005.

Atletico say he’s signed a three-year deal and that they
will parade him this afternoon, subject to him passing a medical: “Luis Garcia
returns to Atletico and will be presented on Tuesday at 13.30 hours,” they said
in a statement. “Atletico have reached an agreement with Liverpool to transfer
Luis Garcia, who has agreed to a three-year contract. Once the player completes
his medical, he will be presented to the media.”

Garcia started his career at Barcelona, one of two spells at
the club, before joining Real Valladolid. He also had loan spells at Toledo and
Tenerife before starting his first spell in the red and white stripes of
Atletico. From there he went to Barcelona which is where he was when Rafa Benítez
signed him in 2005. He played 77 times for Liverpool, scoring 18 times.

Anfield Road would like to wish you good luck in the rest of your career Luis – and thanks for those vital goals!

Continue reading Luis leaves Anfield

Robbie is delighted Torres is on way

Fernando Torres has cut short his holiday, prepared a
farewell statement for his adoring Atletico fans and is set to arrive in the UK
today for a medical. Once formalities have been completed, which may not
actually be until tomorrow, Torres will become Liverpool’s record signing.

The striker had a £27m buyout clause in his contract, but it’s
believed that hasn’t been triggered by Liverpool, who may have paid as little as
£20m for the player. We say ‘little’ – but it still eclipses the previous
record of £14m paid by the club for Djibril Cisse in 2005.

Torres will almost certainly take over Robbie Fowler’s
vacant number 9 shirt when he officially joins, and he does so with the Kop
legend’s blessing. Fowler told Sky Sports that he was, as a fan, delighted with
the news Torres was coming: “His goals record has been fantastic in Spain. He
has scored plenty of goals for his country as well. I think he will be a great
player for Liverpool. I am a Liverpool fan and I hope he brings the
championship to Liverpool. Since I have been playing, we’ve never won that and,
as I said before, I am a fan, so I want Liverpool to win everything.”

Continue reading Robbie is delighted Torres is on way