Torres: I couldn't wait for Reds
Fernando Torres has explained he could wait no longer for Liverpool to reclaim their place amongst the English elite, and he hopes that Reds fans will eventually come to understand that he has joined Chelsea to win trophies and further his career.
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Torres, signed for a British record £50 million on transfer deadline day, was presented to the media at Chelsea's training ground in Cobham and added he would not celebrate against his former club if he scores in Sunday's Premier League tie.
His decision to force an exit from Liverpool in order to join a Premier League rival was badly received on Merseyside, where replica shirts bearing his name were burned in public. However, Torres hopes that Liverpool supporters will come to eventually accept that he needed to join a team that matched his ambition, rather than staying with a club currently nine points shy of a Champions League place.
"I only have good things to say about the Liverpool people and the Liverpool supporters," Torres said. "They made me feel really good there, and I have had three-and-a-half fantastic seasons there.
"I understand they will be angry and they will not understand my decision. I am sure in a few days, a few weeks or maybe not, I would like to explain to them all the reasons, but I would like to start talking about the future now. Thanks to them, thanks very much.
"I understand, because I was an Atletico Madrid fan, and when some top players left the club I did not understand. But with time I could understand they did the best for themselves, their families and their careers.
"So I am not asking them [Liverpool fans] to understand me, but I am sure with time they will see what I did there, and they will be fair, or they will be thinking a different way to they are thinking now. Football is like this - this is the life. The majority of Liverpool fans are not thinking like the ones you can see on the TV."
In 2007, Torres joined a Liverpool side that had just finished as runners-up in the Champions League, and although they challenged strongly for the Premier League in 2008-09, the striker ended his Liverpool career without any silverware to his name as the club declined sharply under the reign of former owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.
"Things had changed a lot in the last year," Torres said of his time at Liverpool. "I think they have great ambition and they are doing the right things to get back but it will take time. I didn't have that time."
Having won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup with his country, a lack of success at club level is something Torres is keen to rectify at Chelsea. He admits Champions League glory is his top priority, as it is believed to be for Blues owner Roman Abramovich.
"The Champions League is the main thing," he said. "I know the ambition this club has about winning the Champions League, and it is the same ambition that I have. I think the ambition of this team is to keep winning trophies every year, so I have the same motivation. Talking about that, we are all thinking the same thing."
Torres admitted he had decided "ten to 12 days before the transfer window closed" that he wanted to leave Anfield in order to join Chelsea, and made his position very clear to the club. The striker saw an official transfer requested rejected by Liverpool just days before his transfer.
"As soon as I knew that Liverpool and Chelsea were talking about that, I told them that the decision was made," Torres said. "I was the first one to go to the manager and tell them."
Torres said he will not celebrate if he manages to score against his former side, but he is far from guaranteed a start, according to his new manager Carlo Ancelotti.
"Fernando is in good condition," Ancelotti said. "He is available to play against Liverpool, I don't know if he will start or maybe come on during the game. It is my decision, and I will take the decision before 4pm on Sunday."