Juan Mata insists that Fernando Torres is capable of firing Spain to Euro glory, ahead of the tournament kick-off this evening.
Torres endured a difficult season at Stamford Bridge as he failed to produce his best form on a regular basis, casting doubt over his place in Vicente Del Bosque's Euro 2012 squad.
However, the Spanish international finished the season in fine form, scoring a goal at the Nou Camp as Chelsea beat Barcelona en route to the Champions League final.
The Blues went on to win the competition, providing club owner Roman Abramovich with the opportunity to bask in the success of claiming Europe's top prize - a feat the Russian has so desperately craved since taking the reigns at Stamford Bridge.
And that wasn't the only trophy Chelsea added last season either, as Torres et al. beat Liverpool to add the FA Cup to their ever-expanding trophy cabinet.
WIth Torres ending the season in a rich vein of form, Mata is confident that the former Liverpool striker will take his form and confidence into this summer's tournament, with the 24-year-old adamant that Torres will go on to play a starring role for Spain as they look to defend their European title.
"Fernando had a very difficult season but the team had a fantastic close to the season and he deserves to be here," said Mata.
"I have no doubt that, at the European Championship, Fernando will be one of the most important pieces for our team and will certainly score important goals.
"If he recovered his level, it's down to the confidence he has in himself.
"I was there during those moments when it wasn't going well and I always tried to tell him that he was a very important player to Chelsea and the national team."
Spain are red-hot favourites to win Euro 2012, and with an in-form Torres in their armoury, it's enough to strike fear into the very best defenders in Europe.
If the £50million striker can get amongst the goals early on, it will take something special to stop the Spaniards from claiming their third consecutive international title in a row.
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