Juan Mata has lavished praise on Fernando Torres following the Chelsea striker's match-winning performance in the defeat of Rubin Kazan on Thursday, and claims his international teammate 'deserves everything he gets'.
Torres scored twice for Chelsea in the 3-1 victory over their Russian opponents in the Europa League quarter-final at Stamford Bridge - the 18th and 19th time the Spaniard has found the net over the course of the campaign for the Blues.
The first for Torres was an inventive finish from a pinpoint David Luiz pass, while the second was a towering and confident second-half header, as the masked former Liverpool striker played with a verve and freedom often unseen during his time with Chelsea.
Victor Moses netted the other goal for Chelsea, who now have one foot in the semi-final of Europe's secondary club competition, but Mata reserved credit for one player in particular following the final whistle.
"As a striker, [Torres] always wants to score," Mata told Goal.com. "I’m very happy and glad for him because he works so hard and deserves everything he gets."
Despite a relative resurgence in recent weeks for Torres, scoring four times in his last eight appearances, the 29-year-old's future as a Chelsea player remains in doubt as the summer transfer window approaches.
Chelsea are reported to be on the verge of completing a deal to sign German forward Andre Schurrle in the summer transfer window, with Kevin de Bruyne heading to Bayer Leverkusen as part of the deal.