Fernando Torres at 40: Liverpool highs, Chelsea lows, body transformation and coaching career

Fernando Torres enjoyed a glittering playing career which spanned five clubs and 19 years – but has endured a body transformation and is now a coach since hanging up his boots.

The Spaniard started his career at Atletico Madrid and hit double figures in five successive seasons before securing a move to Liverpool. Torres is best known for his time at Anfield, where he was prolific and struck 81 goals across three-and-a-half years before leaving to join Chelsea.

That moved sparked anger amongst Liverpool fans and Torres never quite hit the same heights at Stamford Bridge. Injuries took their toll on the forward in the end as he retired in 2019 after striking an impressive 263 goals in 768 appearances during his career.

After calling time on his playing days, Torres underwent a major body transformation and has dipped into coaching with Atletico, too. So, to celebrate Torres’ 40th birthday on Wednesday, Mirror Football takes a look back on the highs and lows of his career.

Ex-Liverpool and Chelsea forward Fernando Torres is now a coach at Atletico Madrid

Liverpool highs


From the minute his armband revealed ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, you knew Fernando Torres was destined for Anfield. Once the rising star of European football, the former Atletico Madrid striker hit the ground running in the Premier League following his move to Liverpool in 2007.

Torres scored his first Reds goal on his second appearance as he embarrassed John Terry before netting during a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. That proved to be the first of many for the Spaniard at Liverpool as he terrorised defenders and became one of the most fearsome strikers in English football.

However, Torres turned his back on the Reds in January 2011 and handed in a transfer request before completing a dramatic £50million deadline day switch to Chelsea. During his time on Merseyside, Torres failed to win a single major trophy but scored an impressive 81 goals in 142 appearances.

Fernando Torres spent four-and-a-half years at Liverpool
Fernando Torres spent four-and-a-half years at Liverpool 
Image:
Getty Images)

Chelsea lows


Torres’ move to Stamford Bridge was a then British transfer record and the sixth most expensive deal in history as Chelsea looked to push on after winning the Premier League. However, it’s safe to say the move did not work out as well as both parties would have been hoping for.

He scored one goal in his first 18 appearances and that set the tone for Torres’ time at the Blues. However, he did realise his dream of winning the Champions League with Chelsea – even scoring the goal to seal the semi-final victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp.

In the 2012/13 season, Torres scored 22 goals in 64 matches and helped the Blues win the Europa League. He spent one more full campaign at Chelsea before moving out on loan to AC Milan. Torres’ time in west London came to an end in 2015, having scored 45 times in 172 games.


Fernando Torres


Fernando Torres never reached the heights expected of him at Chelsea 
Image:
Getty Images)

Body transformation

After leaving Chelsea, Torres had a spell at AC Milan and his return to Atletico Madrid before ending his career with Japanese outfit Sagan Tosun in 2019. Following retirement, Torres then seriously bulked up during the lockdown period and looked unrecognisable to his early playing days.

Torres posted a picture in the gym in February 2021 while wearing a vest and a face mask, showing off a pair of huge biceps and triceps. He has since kept a similar physique and is looking as hench as ever.



Image:
www.givemesport.com

Coaching career

Torres was appointed as Atletico Madrid’s new Under-19s head coach in July 2021 and he has since impressed during his time in management thus far. He is into his third season in coaching, though his Atletico side crashed out of the UEFA Youth League against AZ Alkmaar last month.

Former Atletico coach Armando de la Morena has tipped Torres to have a career in management. “A coach like Fernando, knowing his career a bit, as a player and always with the respect that he has acted, has the conditions to be a great coach,” he told Diario AS in 2022.

“Because of how he expresses himself, the serenity that he has, the calm.

“I know it from the players too, who tell me wonders about him, how he transmits, how he gives them the concepts. So what I see in him is that if everything is going the right way, then we have a future coach for Spanish football and for Atletico and hopefully for the national team as well. Whatever what he wants.”

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