Fernando Torres has revealed that his former Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez took him to a level that he 'never dreamed of'.
Torres, who enjoyed the best spell of his career at Liverpool - he struck 65 goals in 102 league outings for the club during 2007 and 2011 - has admitted that his compatriot played a prominent role for him on Merseyside.
Benitez, of course, was the man who brought Torres to England in a deal worth £20 million back in 2007.
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Torres repaid Benitez and the Liverpool hierarchy with a number of scintillating performances, but things turned sour when he eventually departed the club in favour of a mega £50m move to rivals Chelsea.
Benitez, though, had already departed Liverpool by then, and Torres has hailed him and his current manager at Atletico Madrid, Diego Simeone.
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Benitez and Simeone influence
"They have been very important people for me in different times. With Benitez I reached a level I perhaps never dreamed of," he told Cadena Cope, as per Goal.com.
"With Simeone I have had the opportunity to return to my club and relive very emotional moments, and I think the best is still to come."
In truth, things have never quite been the same for Torres since Benitez left Liverpool. Now, at Atletico, the experienced striker is well aware that he's under scrutiny - he has scored four goals in 18 La Liga games this season - but has insisted that his future is with the club.
"My future is to win here, at Atleti. It's something I have not done yet," added Torres.
"At the moment I have the good fortune to play where I want. I do not know until when, but I want to enjoy every game.
"I am aware that my performances have to be better."
Tricky for Torres
Ultimately, it's not going to be easy for Torres to prove his credentials once again in Spain. His pace has long abandoned him and he has never quite been the same player he once was.
At 31, it's safe to say that the striker's best years are behind him, but he will no doubt continue to strive for success in the game.
Clearly at home in Madrid, Torres may well get every opportunity to continue to express himself under the guidance of Simeone, but it's unlikely that things will ever be the same.
Unfortunately, the days of scoring goals for fun at Anfield are long gone. His next move in the game will most definitely be an interesting one.
Why do you think Torres' career turned sour so quickly? Have your say below!