Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres believes he was portrayed as a “traitor” following his controversial departure to Chelsea five years ago.
And the Spaniard says he feels “betrayed” by those in power at Anfield at the time, not least when it emerged publicly the player had “verbally requested” to leave the club.Torres has spoken candidly about events leading to his British record £50million move to Stamford Bridge in January 2011 in a new book by Simon Hughes entitled “Ring of Fire: Liverpool FC into the 21st Century – the players’ stories”.
The striker details how he had spoken with managing director Christian Purslow in the summer of 2010 and later Damien Comolli after the Frenchman’s appointment as director of football in the November.Torres wanted to know if he would be sold because of the club’s ongoing financial problems but was told by Purslow the players would need to stay for Liverpool’s value to remain high ahead of a possible takeover.His frustration was heightened by Javier Mascherano being sold to Barcelona shortly after the meeting with Purslow.
“Comolli told me that the new owners (FSG), they had an idea of how to spend their investment,” says Torres.“They wanted to bring in young players, to build something new. I was thinking to myself, this takes time to work. It takes two, three, four, maybe even 10 years.I didn’t have that time. I was 27 years old. I did not have time to wait. I wanted to win. Here we are five years later and they are still trying to build – around the same position in the league as when I left.”
And once the player’s willingness to consider leaving become public, he thinks a leak from the club “changed the view of everybody, including myself”.“It was presented as if I was a traitor,” says Torres. “It was not like this in the discussion(s).Liverpool could not admit they were doing something wrong with the whole team. They had to find a guilty one.”