at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Madrid – Talks with Chelsea bosses have assured striker Fernando Torres his future lies with the Champions League winners.
The Spain striker had said he was considering moving away from Stamford Bridge after starting the final against Bayern Munich on the bench, but on his official website said talks with club owner Roman Abramovich have left “no doubts” over his future.
“We've already spoken and there are now no doubts over what is expected of Fernando Torres,” Torres said. “I just want the new season to start already.”
Torres said he struggled mentally after the club failed to fully back him following his £50-million move from Liverpool last season.
“When Chelsea signed me I arrived with great expectations. The club's owners and the fans have been unconditional, but my role in the team has not been so. I feel like I deserve to play more,” Torres said. “It was a difficult season, I played little and my general state of mind was much like a roller coaster ride. I experienced some very bad moments, very bad, and I don't want to go through that again.”
The 28-year-old Torres is set to help Spain defend their European title this summer, insisting he has overcome his dip in form that saw him go 26 games without a goal.
“It was a mental block that I had a tough time dealing with. The ball just wouldn't go in and I felt like I was never in the right position. I watched a lot of videos of other strikers, including of my own time at Atletico and Liverpool. That helped me a lot as it took away the fear I felt inside the area,” said Torres, who has scored just 12 times for the Blues.
“There were moments when I lost all motivation and that never happened to me before. It's the worst sensation in the world. I turned into a player I hated. Thankfully that's part of the past. The only thought in my head now is about achieving my dreams.”
Torres dismissed claims he was incompatible with Didier Drogba, who is leaving the club after eight seasons and played a pivotal role in the club's European Cup triumph.
“I want to play with the best and he was one of the best. I don't understand why it has to be one or the other and not both,” Torres said.
While Torres seems certain to be included in Spain's squad for their June 10 Euro 2012 opener against Italy, the striker acknowledged his insecurity over his role in the national team after being left out of a friendly in February.
“I was left out. Never have I been so happy to be named in a squad,” Torres said about Del Bosque's list for the team's tournament warm-up matches. Del Bosque is set to release his definitive 23-man squad list on Sunday.
Torres scored the winning goal in the final four years ago to give Spain their second European title, and first for 44 years. Spain went on to win the World Cup in South Africa to go into Poland and Ukraine as favourites, although all-time leading scorer David Villa is missing due to injury to put further expectation on Torres and his experience. – Sapa-AP