Belfast Telegraph

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich persuades Fernando Torres to stay

By Sam Wallace

Fernando Torres has climbed down from his post-Champions League final threat that he would review his future at Chelsea after being left out the team that night having been given the personal assurances by Roman Abramovich that he will be a key part of the team next season.

Torres, 28, spoke about his situation at Spain's pre-Euro 2012 training camp in Austria yesterday and said that he had been told by Abramovich that he should stay despite an unremarkable 16 months at the club so far.

Torres was a long-term target for Abramovich who was the driving force behind the deal to sign the player for a British record of £50m in January last year. Torres said: "I had a conversation with the owner of Chelsea and he trusts me. His confidence is total and that is what I needed to keep fighting and continue to be essential for the team."

The Chelsea striker's words echo those of chief executive, Ron Gourlay, who said last week that the club had absolute belief that Torres would now come good for them, especially important now that Didier Drogba has left the club. Torres has scored just 12 goals for Chelsea since he joined from Liverpool in January 2011.

When he was left out of the team that played Bayern Munich he said he had experienced the "worst" moments of his career at Chelsea and complained about his treatment under former manager Andre Villas-Boas.

Vicente Del Bosque left Torres out of the Spain squad for a friendly against Venezuela in February. However, the injury to David Villa means that there is a good chance the Chelsea striker, who scored the winning goal in the Euro 2008 final, could start against Italy in Spain's first game on 10 June.

Torres said that his omission in February was a sign of how bad things had become for him. "I started to understand that things were serious, that I wasn't getting much playing time with my club and that if things carried on that way I wouldn't be going to Euro 2012," he said.

"Vicente has put his faith in me and now I need to show him I am ready to play whenever he thinks it necessary. I hope to be able to give the team the best of me. When you see yourself missing out and then you are selected you are more excited even than the first day. I have arrived feeling fresh because I haven't had the same physical burden as the others and I am in good shape. I would have liked to have played more for my club but the important thing is that everything works out in the end."

Petr Cech, 30, has signed a new four-year deal with Chelsea which means that the Czech international is likely to spend the rest of his career at the club he joined in 2004. The man Chelsea expect to be his long-term successor, Thibaut Courtois, will spend another year on loan at Atletico Madrid.

Belfast Telegraph

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