Rafael Benitez has revealed that Fernando Torres needed a pain-killing injection and all his powers of persuasion to have the chance to destroy Real Madrid.
Torres took special delight in his goal-scoring performance as Liverpool sent Real crashing out of the Champions League with a 5-0 aggregate win on Tuesday. A lifelong Atletico Madrid fan who spent 12 years as a player at the Vicente Calderon, Torres had longed for the moment to deal such a blow to Real.
Benitez said: "Fernando had only light training for three days but he desperately wanted to play against his former club."
He added: "He caused so many problems for their defenders, they could not handle him or his passion. But there was great commitment from all of my players.
"Fernando did his best to convince me to let him play. We talked a lot about it beforehand and he kept telling me he was 100%.
"But he still needed an injection in the ankle and it was heavily strapped up. Playing against Real, particularly with his past at Atletico Madrid, was so important for him. The strapping was very strong, but we felt it was right to take the gamble."
Torres had scored just once against Real in previous appearances and had never been on the winning side.
He said: "The pain was not important. I have three days until the game with Manchester United and I think I will be fit.
"The Champions League victory was a big night for Liverpool and we showed Madrid why Liverpool try to win everything. After the first goal it was very difficult for them to score two and the penalty sealed the game."
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