Fernando Torres says he is ready to put one of the most difficult seasons of his football career behind him and focus on helping Spain retain their crown at Euro 2012 this summer.
Torres earned a call up to the Spanish national squad for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine despite a difficult year with Chelsea in which he spent much of his time either on the substitutes bench or failing to find the back of the net.
The former Liverpool striker did begin to find some kind of form towards the end of the season as he bagged a hat-trick against Chelsea’s rivals QPR days after scoring in the Blues dramatic semi-final win over Barcelona in the Champions League.
However he was dropped for the final of that competition against Bayern Munich in favour of Didier Drogba, after which he suggested he would consider his future at Stamford Bridge.
Now though he has secured his place in Spain’s squad for Euro 2012 alongside club team-mate Juan Mata, and the 28-year-old says he is ‘more thrilled’ than when he won his first cap for La Roja to have the chance to play for his country this summer.
“I spent the entire morning waiting for news from the Spanish Football Federation,” he said. “I knew Mata was going, because he’s a permanent fixture in the squad, and he’s had an amazing season. This call up has thrilled me even more than my first.”
He added of his hopes of lifting another trophy this summer: “Mata and I enjoyed a magical week, winning two trophies, especially the Champions League. But when you’re used to winning, you always want more, and now’s not the time to stop.
“For this reason, it’s important for me to be in the national team - to have the opportunity of making history by winning another European Cup”,
Torres admitted that he found his first full season with Chelsea ‘difficult’, but insists he wants the ‘opportunity to make history’ with Spain after his goal secured their first Euro triumph for years ago against Germany.
“It was a new situation to me, sitting on the bench for a lot of games,” Torres revealed. “I had to get used to it and learn to live with a situation that I’d seen many of my teammates go through. But you really can’t understand it until it happens to you.
“I’ve been playing under pressure since my debut, but it’s nothing new to me.”