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Sep 10, 2012

Torres relishing fresh start

Spain beat Frank Rijkaard's Saudi Arabia as they prepared for thier upcoming qualifier against Georgia in style

Spain striker Fernando Torres believes the experiences of last season have helped him to evolve as a player.

• Spain 5-0 Saudi Arabia

Torres has been struggling with his form since 2010, and he suffered an all-time low last season as his big-money move to Chelsea looked to have turned sour.

However, he landed the Euro 2012 golden boot as Spain retained their continental crown, and his revival continued on Friday night as he won his 100th cap for Spain and wore the captain's armband in a 5-0 win against Saudi Arabia

Torres said in May that he had experience "worst moments" of his career last season, with his stock falling to such an extent that his very future as a top-level performer for club and country was in danger, but he now feels it has helped him to move forwards.

"I learned so much about myself last season and feel better for that experience now," Torres said. "I'm playing much more for my club and you can see that I'm starting to score more goals and play better.

"I am a different type of striker than in the past. I created a lot of chances for my team-mates last season and it means my game is more complete at this point in my career. To play in a new Chelsea team and still have something to aim for with Spain is exciting for me.

"The night of my 100th game for my country is something I will always remember. Many Spain players have reached 100 appearances and this says so much about the consistency of the team in the last few years. More will follow to get to 100 - Sergio Ramos and Cesc Fabregas for sure - but it was a special moment for me.

"Even after so many years, it is still a privilege to play in this great Spain team."

Torres will look to continue his revival as Spain start the defence of their World Cup crown in their opening qualifier against Georgia in Tbilisi on Tuesday, with returning Barcelona forward David Villa eager to make up for lost time at international level after sitting out much of the last year with a broken leg.

"I'm improving little by little and getting better physically," Villa said. "I've spent a lot of time training, the body is adapting and it will take time. It is up to the coach to decide whether I am ready to start matches again."

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