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Liga MX
By ESPN Staff

Torres signs six-year Liverpool deal

New Liverpool signing Fernando Torres believes the Spanish influence at Anfield will help him hit the ground running.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez has brought the Spain international to Anfield in a club record deal, believed to be just under £20million.

The 23-year-old, who side-stepped questions about previous interest from Chelsea, has signed a six-year contract but the size of the fee, coupled with Liverpool's attacking problems last term, mean he will be under pressure to perform immediately.

He has also been handed the club's famous number nine shirt worn by the likes of Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler, but is adamant that will also spur him on.

Torres, who will play alongside the likes of Jose Reina and Xabi Alonso, said: 'Hopefully I can settle as quickly as possible. It will be a help that there are so many Spanish speakers here and also the manager.

'I'll be able to understand them from the word 'go' and let's hope the settling in period is as short as possible.

'I don't see it as a pressure. It's a good responsibility and at the same time, it's a real privilege to have the opportunity to wear the shirt number.

'The fact that Liverpool have given me that number shows they've got a lot of confidence in me and they've got high hopes I will succeed.

'I just hope that I can do well over a good number of years at this club and be remembered in the same way as the guys that have been mentioned.

'I hope I can repay the confidence they've shown in me on the field in seasons to come.'

While many new arrivals claim to have followed their new club all their life, there is no doubting Torres is genuine.

His friends have Liverpool tattoos and he was also pictured with 'We will never walk alone' on the inside of his Atletico Madrid captain's armband last season.

He added: 'A group of my mates and I are all Liverpool fans and we have been for some years.

'A few years back, my friends each got a tattoo on their arm but obviously as a football player, I couldn't really get that tattooed on my arm.

'So on my last birthday they gave me the present of the armband with it written on the underside and it's 'We'll never walk alone'.

'This club is well capable of winning the Premiership and other trophies as they have proved in the past and recent history.

'We will be fighting on all fronts this year.'

Benitez himself was doubly impressed by Torres' desire to move to Anfield and was pleased with reports from his players returning from Spain duty.

He said: 'There is the anecdote with the armband and, maybe I shouldn't say this, but he was talking with some of his team-mates in the national team.

'He said 'ok, if I leave Atletico Madrid I would like to go to Liverpool. Say to Rafa, please say to Rafa!'

'The last season, we knew that (Dirk) Kuyt was our target and this year (Torres) was our target.

'After we reached an agreement with the club, they received a big offer, bigger than our offer, but the player said he wanted to go to Liverpool and he didn't want to hear anyone just to come here. That's the positive thing for me.'

Benitez also hinted that Craig Bellamy may be the striker to pay the price for Torres' arrival at Anfield.

With Andriy Voronin also joining this summer, speculation has increased about the futures of Peter Crouch and Bellamy.

But while Benitez confirmed he wants Crouch to stay, he admitted there is interest from other clubs in Wales international Bellamy.

Asked if Bellamy will be leaving, Benitez said: 'Possibly. We have some clubs asking about him and it's a possibility.

He added: 'The only thing I can say is that Crouch will be staying with us. I have said to Crouch that he must fight for his position and he will stay with us.'

Speculation has also linked Benitez with a controversial move for Manchester United's defender Gabriel Heinze.

But Benitez insists he is concentrating on signing wide midfielders.

He continued: 'Really we are working with wingers. People can talk about a lot of things and a lot of names but we're working on wingers.'