Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

Fernando Torres considers leaving Chelsea despite Champions League win

By Pete Jenson

Fernando Torres yesterday opened up the possibility of leaving Chelsea, despite winning the Champions League with the club.

In an interview with the Spanish website yesterday, Torres said: "It's contradictory because I feel I'm at a peak moment in my career, with more desire and hunger than I've felt in a long time but I've had to spend the final on the bench. It was a huge disappointment when I saw the line-up, perhaps the biggest in my life.

"This season I have felt things that I never had before. I've felt like they treated me in a way that I didn't expect, not in the way that was spoken of when they signed me. We've had a lot of talks and we'll talk about my future because the role I've had this season is not for me, nor is it the one I expected to play when I came here. I'm not comfortable.

"I want them to tell me what is going to happen in the future. Football has been fair on us, on me. Now I do feel like football is worth it but I've been through a difficult time, the worst in my career. I don't want that again, there's been many times when I've felt lost, I wasn't sure what to do. I felt like I didn't know where I belonged.

"I'm eternally grateful to my family, who have been by my side, and also for the support of the owners, who have stuck by me. And especially to the fans, if it hadn't been for them this season I would have given up. I need the club to tell me what is going to happen and what sort of role I will have within the team, what my duties are... what the club expects of me. And then judge whether it is worth it."

Didier Drogba, another striker who may be on the way out of Chelsea, was more upbeat. "We make very good champions because of the way we did it," he said. "We were almost going out against Napoli but we came back. We beat the – now former – champions of Europe, Barcelona. And then we beat Bayern in their own stadium. We deserve to be the champions."

Jon Obi Mikel said the players had also put an end to the jibe that Chelsea are a club without history. He said: "We are the first club to win the trophy for London – we have made history now. It is hard when they score so late in the game, but it just shows you the determination that we have in this squad."

Mikel played his part in the penalty drama that unfolded at the climax of the evening, even though he did not take a spot-kick: he had a quiet word with Arjen Robben before the Dutchman failed with his kick early in extra time in front of the Chelsea supporters. "I told him he was going to miss," said Mikel. "I told him Petr [Cech] knew which side he was going to put it. When he missed it, we could start to believe the trophy was going to be ours. We knew, for once, luck was on our side."

Frank Lampard said Cech's heroics confirmed him as the world's No 1 keeper. He said: "[Manuel] Neuer looks massive in goal and he's a fantastic keeper, but Cech has shown everybody he is the best in the world. To play as he has against Barcelona, in the FA Cup final with that late save, and to keep out two penalties in the shoot-out plus the one he stopped from Robben was incredible."

Drogba said he had asked to be moved to fifth penalty taker, giving him the opportunity to decide the match with what could yet be his last kick as a Chelsea player. "Robbie [Di Matteo, the club's manager] put me third but I said that I wanted to be fifth," he said. "The manner of the win defines the whole European campaign. This was our moment. We believed it against Napoli when we were losing 3-1, and in the last minute Ashley Cole cleared one off the line to spare us a 4-1 defeat. I sank a little bit when Bayern scored but Juan Mata said to me: 'No, you have to believe, we will score, and voilà he took a corner and I scored from it. It's my happiest moment in football ever."

It had been an emotional night for Chelsea from start to finish, with each player being shown a video good luck message from their families before they stepped out on to the Allianz Arena. "The club really surprised us," Drogba said. "The families have always been there in Moscow, against Barcelona, when we lost those games. This win was for them."

Ryan Bertrand also spoke of that special moment before the game, made even more special for him because it ended with Di Matteo telling him he would be in the side. "There were messages from all the families," he said. "The manager pulled me to one side and asked me who the people in my message were. Then he said: 'You're starting tonight'. "The video messages were a surprise. We just got called into a meeting and there they were. Every single player had one. My mum, then my brother wished me good luck.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph