Happy birthday Fernando Torres.
The legendary Spanish striker celebrates his 36th birthday today (March 20). 36!
We still remembering him arriving at Liverpool in 2007 as a fresh-faced 23-year-old, about to unleash hell on Premier League defenders.
Part of Torres’ story includes that disappointing spell at Chelsea but it’s impossible to forget just how good he was at Anfield.
He scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for the Reds and is considered one of the greatest strikers in the club’s history.
And as he celebrates his birthday, we’ve decided to pick out our top 10 Torres moments in a Liverpool shirt.
10. THAT Nike advert
Torres was involved in one of the best Nike adverts of all-time after he completed a £20 million move to Liverpool from Atletico Madrid in 2007.
The advert featured Merseysiders adopting the Spanish culture, with locals being taught how to teach Spanish, a fish and chips shop adding tapas to its menu and paella pans being sold in the street.
9. Backheel assist for Steven Gerrard vs Everton
Torres showed that he had more to his game that just goals in Liverpool’s FA Cup clash against Everton in 2009.
He produced an incredible backheel pass to Gerrard and watched on as the midfielder fired the ball beyond Tim Howard.
We’re still not sure how he did it.
8. Ending Fabio Cannarvaro
They say Fabio Cannavaro still hasn’t recovered from this.
Torres sent the defender for a spin when Real Madrid came to Anfield for a Champions League encounter in March 2009.
His magical turn deserved a goal but Iker Casillas managed to get a touch to his effort.
It’s one of the best goals that never was.
7. Goal on Anfield debut vs Chelsea
Torres marked his home debut with a fine finish against Chelsea.
His acceleration was on full display as he breezed past Tal Ben Haim before slotting the ball beyond Petr Cech.
It was a sign of things to come.
6. Dropping Rio Ferdinand
Torres enjoyed many great moments against Manchester United - as you’ll see -
and one came in a 2-0 win over the Red Devils in October 2009.
The Spanish striker showed his pace and strength to shrug off Rio Ferdinand before blasting the ball into the roof of the net in front of the Kop.
Not many players could get the better of Ferdinand in his pomp. But Torres left him on all fours and in despair.
5. Header vs Chelsea in 2009
Liverpool’s contest with Chelsea in February 2009 looked destined to end in a draw that wouldn’t have done Rafa Benitez’s side any favours in their bid to keep pace with Manchester United in the title race.
But up stepped Torres with two late goals to down Chelsea.
His first was a fine guided header in the 89th minute that sent Anfield wild.
The celebrations were spine-tingling. What a moment.
4. Cracker vs Arsenal in Champions League
Torres helped Liverpool reach the semi-final of the 2007/08 Champions League with a 5-3 aggregate win over Arsenal.
Just look at the celebrations after he fired an unstoppable effort past Manuel Almunia.
3. Destroying Nemanja Vidic at Old Trafford
“Torres was a top player. At the time he was probably the best striker in the league. He scored a few goals against United.”
Vidic and Torres had some great battles but it was the Liverpool striker who came out on top when the Reds went to Old Trafford in March 2009.
Vidic’s momentary hesitation was all Torres needed to pounce and Liverpool’s No.9 raced away to set Rafa Benitez’s side on their way to a memorable 4-1 win.
2. … and delivering the ‘five times’ celebration
How did Torres celebrate that goal? By reminding Man United supporters how many times Liverpool had won the European Cup.
1. Screamer vs Blackburn
Anfield. April 11, 2009.
Torres’ goal against Blackburn Rovers 11 years ago summed up his brilliance.
Collecting Jamie Carragher’s long ball forward with his chest, the forward unleashed an outrageous strike across goal and over a helpless Paul Robinson as the ball crashed into the back of the net.
This was Torres at his peak. He was out of this world.
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