Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina has tipped Fernando Torres to fire Spain to glory at Euro 2012.
The Liverpool shot-stopper is backing the Chelsea frontman to score the goals for the reigning champions, as they look to win an historic third major international tournament in a row.
Torres was handed his first start of the competition against Ireland, and the £50million striker promptly scored two goals in an excellent overall performance. And Reina believes Torres, who was a former-teammate at Liverpool, is finally back to his best.
The Spanish striker missed out against Italy, with Fabregas preferred in a ‘false nine’ position, but Torres’s performance against Ireland has given Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque a selection headache before the Croatia match.
But Reina is backing his teammate to fire his country to another European Championship.
“Everyone has ups and downs in his career and surely his is coming up again,” said Reina. “I think he was in good form, in good shape. He’s looking really sharp in training and that’s the Fernando I know – I’m glad for him.”
Spain, along with Germany, are favourites to win Euro 2012 and a draw against Croatia will be enough to send the 2008 champions through to the quarter-final.
Torres endured a tough season at Chelsea, but ended on a high with a series of impressive performances culminating in a maiden Champions League triumph for the Stamford Bridge side.
The departure of Didier Drogba means that Torres is likely to start the season as Roberto Di Matteo’s main striker, but the new Chelsea boss may look to bring in one or two more faces to strengthen the squad. Chelsea have already signed Marko Marin and Eden Hazard, but they have been linked with a number of strikers, including Napoli’s Edinson Cavani and Porto’s Hulk.