Fernando Torres

Fernando José Torres Sanz (born 20 March 1984) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool and the Spanish national team as a striker.

He started his career with Atlético Madrid, progressing through their youth ranks. He made his professional debut in 2001 and finished his career with the club having scored 75 goals in 174 La Liga appearances, earning himself the nickname El Niño ("The Kid") during his time in La Liga. Prior to this, Torres played two seasons in the Segunda División, making 40 appearances and scoring seven goals. He joined Liverpool in 2007, after the club paid their record transfer fee to sign him and marked his first season with the club by being their first player to score more than 20 league goals for the club in a season since Robbie Fowler in 1995–96.

He is also a Spanish international and made his debut for the team against Portugal in 2003. He has since participated in three major tournaments; UEFA Euro 2004, 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. He was unable to score for Spain during the 2004 tournament, but did so on three occasions in the 2006 World Cup. Torres scored the winning goal for Spain in their 1–0 win over Germany in the Euro 2008 final.

International career

Torres celebrating victory with Spain at Euro 2008In February 2001, Torres won the Algarve Tournament with the Spain under-16 team. The under-16s took part in the 2001 UEFA European Under-16 Football Championship in May, which they also won, with Torres scoring the only goal in the final, as well as finishing as the tournament's leading goalscorer and was also named the player of the tournament. In November 2001, Torres represented Spain at the 2001 FIFA Under-17 World Championship, but the team failed to progress through the group stage. In July 2002, he won the 2002 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship, finishing as top scorer and being named player of the tournament and was again the only goalscorer in the final.

In 2003, Torres made his senior debut for the senior Spanish national team on 6 September 2003 in a friendly against Portugal.His first goal for Spain came against Italy on 28 April 2004. He was chosen as part of the Spanish squad for Euro 2004, but only managed to appear as a late substitute in Spain's first two group games, but made the first eleven for the deciding game against Portugal; Spain lost 1–0 and were eliminated.

He scored seven goals in eleven appearances in qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup,making him Spain's top scorer for qualification.At his first ever appearance in a World Cup finals at the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, Torres scored the final goal in a 4–0 victory over Ukraine with a volley.In the second group match, Torres scored twice against Tunisia; firstly in the 76th minute to take Spain 2–1 into the lead and then again from a penalty kick in the 90th. He finished the tournament as Spain's joint top scorer alongside fellow striker David Villa with three goals.The Madrileño was called up to Spain's UEFA Euro 2008 squad,where he set up Villa to score Spain's first goal of the tournament in the opening game against Russia.Torres came under criticism for apparently refusing to shake the hand of Spanish manager, Luis Aragonés, after being substituted.He has since denied being angry with the coaching, citing that he was actually "angry with himself".He scored the opening goal, his first goal of the tournament, in Spain's next game, a 2–1 win over Sweden.Torres scored the winner and claimed the Man of the match award in the final against Germany in a 1–0 victory.He was later named as a striker along with his striking partner David Villa in the Team of the Tournament

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