Fernando Torres has admitted that he struggled at Chelsea and often felt like he was “swimming in wet clothes” at Stamford Bridge.
The Spain international, who left Liverpool to join Chelsea in a record £50 million move in January 2011, scored a disappointing 20 goals in 110 Premier League matches for the Blues before leaving the club on a permanent basis in January.
After completing a permanent move to AC Milan, Torres is now back on loan with his boyhood club Atletico Madrid, where he is rediscovering his form and confidence under the influential Diego Simeone.
Torres: 'It was like swimming in wet clothes'
Torres admits that his time at Chelsea was difficult but insists he never lost faith in his own ability despite the opinions of others. He can also understand why some Atletico fans feared they were never going to see the old Torres again at the Vicente Calderon.
"The doubts were understandable because people do not see the English league, or the short time I was at Milan -- they read the statistics, and they were not the same as always," the 30-year-old told El Pais, according to ESPN. "You end up in a situation where things have not gone well for weeks, or for years. That is like swimming in wet clothes. I know how I am, and I am good. In the end these doubts disappear, but then others come again."
Torres is rediscovering his confidence
It didn’t take long for Torres, who was greeted by thousands of Atleti supporters on his return to the club, to silence the doubters.
The World Cup winner scored two goals in a Copa del Rey match against Real Madrid and also netted against Barcelona in the same competition.
He is, however, still looking for his first La Liga goal since rejoining the reigning Spanish champions.
Torres was world-class in his pomp
While Torres will be remembered as one of the worst pound-for-pound signings of the Premier League era, it’s important to remember what a wonderful striker he was at his peak.
At Liverpool he was a sensation, scoring 65 goals in 102 Premier League appearances.
Widely regarded as one of the world’s great strikers at the time, his move to Chelsea coincided with a dramatic dip in form.
But despite his struggles at Stamford Bridge, Torres still walked away from the club having won the FA Cup, the Europa League and, of course, the Champions League.
Undoubtedly his best moment in a Chelsea shirt came in April 2012, when he scored the famous goal that sent the Blues through to the final at Barcelona’s expense, inside the Camp Nou.
It would be a terrible shame if the majority of fans in England remember him as a mere flop, because at his best there were few better strikers on the planet.
Chelsea fans: was Torres a complete failure or a little underrated at Stamford Bridge? Have your say in the comments below!