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Oct, 16, 2012

Torres: Chelsea move was a forward step

Fernando Torres has revealed he still holds a place in his heart for Liverpool, describing it as the 'city of football'.

• Liverpool: No Anfield naming rights deal

• Blog: England cap just reward for Shelvey

Torres, 28, spent three-and-a-half seasons on Merseyside before departing for Chelsea for a British transfer record £50m. In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Pais the striker opened up about his feelings for the club, and claiming the truth about his exit will come out one day.

He also spoke about his feelings over Hillsborough, and the close bond he still feels towards the people of Liverpool over their battle for justice.

"When I heard about Hillsborough, I got very emotional, as I know a lot of people who lived it, who I saw cry... Through that, I lived it," he said.

"Those are the things you are left with having played for Liverpool, the emotion. I decided to go because I had to take a forward step. It wasn't the best way to go, but it also hasn't been like it has been presented. One day the truth will come out.

"Sporting-wise, I wasn't doing much there. They needed a new project. That's what we talk about, of the beliefs. My son is from Liverpool and he started kicking the ball before he made his first birthday. He was born in the city of football."

Since his move to Stamford Bridge in 2011 Torres has regularly come in for criticism for his scoring rate, having netted just 11 times in 53 appearances, but he is unconcerned, saying he has learned to switch off.

"I learned that it couldn't affect me, to not put myself into it and not to listen," he said. "You have to look at yourself and know that you are the only one who can say 'you're not performing and the only one that can do anything about it is you'.

Because of his drop in goalscoring form there is a feeling that Torres has become a worse player since leaving Liverpool, but he argues that in fact he has improved his all-round game and is better positioned to serve the team now.

"I was a different player to serve the team," he added. "I sacrificed myself but it was the only way to play. At times I thought, 'I will run on the shoulder, or offer the space'. And, by 70 minutes, I wouldn't have touched the ball. If I played in my position I wasn't in the game. What could I do?! It was so different to what I was used to with [Rafa] Benitez that I wasn't comfortable, it was obvious! When we changed coaches, it was something I was more familiar with.

"One positive is that it has made me a better player. Now, I dominate aspects of the game that I couldn't before and you can be the player the coach wants and that you hope to be. I spoke a lot with Steve Holland, the assistant, and we worked on this. In the end, it's the players who give style to the team."

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