If finalists Chelsea win the 2012/13 Europa League against Benfica later this month, count on Spain national team coach Vicente del Bosque to put his trust back in Fernando Torres and call him up ahead of the Confederations Cup in Brazil.
Should La Furia Roja impose itself again by lifting the title, Torres could suddenly turn into a genuine contender for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or.
Now, this may sound as a big joke to your everyday football fan. Indeed, since his £50m transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea in January 2011, the struggling striker has been a favourite topic when it comes to memes and trolls on the internet.
This season, however, he has made Europe his home. His influence in games has been key in the Blues’ rise – from last year’s Champions League group stage demotion to this year’s Europa League final qualification.
The Spaniard does not score often, but when he does, his goals are worth much. This fact could be confirmed by Pep Guardiola, who could only watch helplessly from the touchline as Torres scored an injury-time equaliser at the Camp Nou to end Barcelona’s Champions League hopes last season.
In short, Torres has bounced back well from his bitter disappointment of starting the 2012 Champions League final on the bench. When everyone mocked his alarming wastefulness in front of goal, he went on to scoop the Golden Boot at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.
In the same way that he shocked the public to win the European Championship Golden Boot last summer, he could surprise Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – both Champions League semi-final losers this season – in the race for the 2013 FIFA Ballon d’Or award.
A Golden Ball triumph for Torres in Zurich next year would add another point to Spanish football. Moreover, it would bring an odd pause, if not an end, to the fierce domination of Messi and Ronaldo in top award contests.
How possible could this be?
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