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By ESPN Staff
Jul 5, 2008

Torres: Liverpool helped me become Euro star

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres believes pressure from Rafael Benitez and inspiration from Steven Gerrard have helped him to become a global superstar and European champion. The 24-year-old topped off a season during which he scored 33 goals in his debut campaign for the Reds by firing Spain to the Euro 2008 title last weekend. And he claims manager Benitez's demand for constant improvement has driven him to ever greater heights following last summer's transfer from Atletico Madrid. 'After you score 20, Benitez is at you during the next training session and stays on top of you all day, all week,' Torres told Champions magazine. 'I want to progress in life, not relax, not be complacent, and you need someone close to you telling you to keep at it. It is impossible to do it otherwise. 'We don't always fancy someone that close but, in the long term, I am sure that everybody will thank him for it.' The Spaniard has also been impressed by his club captain Gerrard, and in particular by the Scouser's ability to deal with the pressures that come with his high profile. 'He's always under tremendous pressure to perform and everyone looks to him to show leadership, to lift the team,' Torres said. 'He's a great example, and those of us who have been in a similar situation know how difficult it is to handle. 'It's incredible the way he carries himself regardless of what is going on around him. I'd love to be captain of another team one day and Steve has shown me how to be a great leader.'

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