Former Liverpool star Fernando Torres has revealed that he left Anfield in 2011 because the Reds couldn’t match his ambitions to win trophies at the time, whereas Chelsea, the club he joined for what was then a British record £50m transfer fee, could.
Torres had arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2007 and the future looked bright for Liverpool under Rafa Benitez. The Spanish striker stuck up a remarkable on-field relationship with Steven Gerrard and the club seriously challenged Manchester United in the 2008/09 Premier League title race.
But having come so close, the project started to fall apart and Torres blames former owner Tom Hicks and George Gillett, telling The Times: “They don’t want any good things for Liverpool. They destroyed the project we had very quick. [Javier] Mascherano, [Xabi] Alonso and Benitez left.”
Torres explained the time-frame the owners then put in place for success was too much.
“They told us they wanted to build something in the next eight to ten years,” he said.
“I left my home, my former team, because I was sure that Liverpool could be the place where I won trophies and you are telling me that we need ten years. I don’t have ten years. I need to find somewhere where I can win trophies.”
Even when current owners Fenway Sports Group bought the club in October 2010, they couldn’t convince Torres to stay. The former Anfield hero was shocked that ‘everything’ discussed in a meeting with director of football strategy Damien Comolli was leaked to press after an hour.
Torres submitted a transfer request and left Liverpool in January 2011 and still looks back on it as unfair that he was painted as the villain in the saga.
“They needed to find ‘a guilty one’ and to turn the story for everybody to blame me. I don’t think I deserved that. It was not the best way to leave the club. Every time that I went back to Anfield to play with Chelsea all the fans were booing me,” he said.