Fernando Torres says he is feeling confident ahead of Spain’s Euro 2012 showdown against Croatia this evening – and insists he is ready to score the goals required to fire his country to the quarter-finals.
Torres endured a torrid first full season with Chelsea, and looked as though he would quit the west London club after being dropped for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich in May.
The 28-year-old appeared to have carried his poor form with him from club to country as he spurned two excellent chances against Italy having come on as a substitute.
However he looked back to his best against the Republic of Ireland on Thursday scoring twice in a comfortable 4-0 win.
Now Torres says he is feeling confident ahead of Spain’s clash against Croatia in Gdansk which could see the reigning champions eliminated if results go against them.
"I scored twice in the last game and the team played well, which is what was important," he said.
"I feel good - but I have been playing with confidence in the national team for some time now. I have got the confidence of the coach. There is no reason to think things have to change.
"During the Euros, the level of the team will be higher at the end than it was at the start."
Cesc Fabregas started in place of Torres in Spain’s first game against Italy, but the Barcelona man dropped down to the bench against Ireland, something Torres himself sees as an example of the strength in depth Spain possess.
"Against Italy, he wanted to strengthen the midfield and we had possession of the ball. Against Ireland, we played well for the beginning. The result shows that both systems worked. We have to be ready for everything."
Spain are gunning to become the first team to win three consecutive international tournaments and will secure a place in the quarter-finals with victory tonight while a draw may also be enough for La Roja to progress, and Torres is confident of replicating their success from 2008 this time round.
"We really hope we will see Iker Casillas taking the trophy again because that is what I see in my head all the time," he said.
"If the team plays on this level, all of us have a chance to make history and I hope the player of the tournament will be Spanish too."