Belfast Telegraph

Torres raring to go

Fernando Torres has warned Chelsea's rivals both he and the rest of Jose Mourinho's new-look squad are ready to hit the ground running when the Barclays Premier League campaign kicks off again later this month.

Spain forward Torres has joined up again with the Blues having had some extra time off following the Confederations Cup in Brazil, where he finished as the tournament's Golden Boot winner.

The 29-year-old has shown only glimpses of his goalscoring form since a £50million move from Liverpool in January 2011. However, new manager Mourinho is confident he can be the man to get the best out of the former Atletico Madrid frontman once again.

Chelsea continue their pre-season build-up against Real Madrid at the Guinness International Champions Cup final in Miami on Wednesday, and Torres cannot wait for the competitive action to get under way when newly-promoted Hull come to Stamford Bridge on August 18.

"I don't remember the last time I had four weeks off in a summer, so it was great and now I am fully prepared for the season, which should be a good one for all of us," Torres told the club's official website, chelseafc.com.

"Everyone is giving everything to be in the manager's plans.

"From the first day until now training has been great, high intensity, very fun, and so you are working hard, but using the ball in every exercise, so it's very good.

"It is good everyone is involved together, and the manager and his assistants do small things to make you enjoy the sessions.

"From this you can see everyone is giving everything. Everyone wants play in the first 11, so people are working even harder than even in the middle of the season when they know if they are playing regularly or not.

"Everyone is playing well, the manager is mixing everybody well, making everyone sharp for competition. We only have two more games until the first Premier League game, and so far everyone is looking great."

Torres may admit to having "pain everywhere" being "a nice feeling" as he sharpens up his match fitness, but the Spain international accepts those who have been given some extra time off - Juan Mata, David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta, Oscar and John Obi Mikel - are playing catch-up.

He added: "Some of us are behind, but we are trying to get fit as soon as possible.

"It is difficult for us guys from the Confederations Cup to fit into the team now because the other guys have had 22 days more than us. In pre-season that's a huge difference and you can see they are much fitter than us, so we have to work even harder to fit in because the season is right there, in two weeks' time.

"We have to be ready for that and we know how important it is to start well."

Chelsea have confirmed Brazil defender Luiz would not feature against Madrid, and it has been reported Barcelona have made an official bid for the centre-back.

Mourinho has always stressed Luiz remains part of his plans, and expects the Brazilian to feature in the final warm-up match against Porto in Washington, if he recovers from a hamstring problem.

Adding on the club's official website, the Portuguese coach said: "'We won't risk David Luiz [against Madrid], but Roma is the last match of pre-season before the season starts, so I think he needs to play against Roma, but if he's not able to he's not able to."

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