Birthdate: 20 March 1984
Birthplace: Madrid, Spain
Other clubs: Atletico Madrid (1995-2007), Chelsea (2011-14), AC Milan (loan, 2014 - transfer 2015-), Atletico Madrid (loan, 2015-)
Bought from: Atletico Madrid
Signed for LFC: £20.2m, 04.07.2007
International debut: 06.09.2003 vs. Portugal
International caps: 110/37 (40/12 at LFC) - 23.06.2014
Liverpool debut: 11.08.2007
Last appearance: 26.01.2011
Debut goal: 19.08.2007
Last goal: 22.01.2011
Contract expiry: 31.01.2011
Win ratio: 52.82% W: 75 D: 34 L: 33
Games/goals ratio: 1.75
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 8 / 0
LFC league games/goals: 102 / 65
Total LFC games/goals: 142 / 81
Torres' great talent was obvious to everyone as he made his progress through the youth ranks at Atletico Madrid after joining the club in 1995. He starred for Spain in the 2001 European Under-16 Championship and scored the only goal in the final against France and finished as the leading goalscorer with seven goals in six games and was voted the best player of the tournament. The following season Torres scored six goals in 36 matches as he established himself in the Atletico team that won promotion to La Liga. Torres shone again on the international stage in the summer of 2002 at the European Under-19 Championship when he again scored the only goal in the final and ended as the tournament's leading goalscorer with four goals in four games and yes... was voted the best player.
Torres showed his promise by scoring 13 goals in 29 games in his first season in the top-flight, but it was in the 2003/04 season when Torres became a 19-year-old superstar. He scored 19 league goals in 35 games and made his full international debut on 6 September 2003 against Portugal. "I was captain in Atletico at 19, playing in the same team as Demetrio Albertini who won three Champions Leagues and Sergi Barjuan from Barcelona, who had won everything, and they were 32, 33, "Torres said. "I was a kid as captain, so I wasn’t the real captain, just a kid learning from them." Torres proved his worth in his first World Cup in 2006 with three goals in four matches but the Spanish team were on their way home after losing 3-1 to France in the last 16. Torres had been a key player at underachieving Atletico Madrid all his career and needed a new challenge. He had scored on average a goal every 2.6 games in 244 appearances for the club, a total of 91 goals. Rafa Benítez and Liverpool's new American owners showed their intent for the 2007/08 season by splashing out a club record fee of £20.2 million for the exciting Spaniard. Surely a coincidence he was paraded at Anfield on 4 July, USA's independence day? A lot of responsibility was placed on Torres' young shoulders in Madrid, but at Liverpool he wasn't the only one responsible for the success or lack thereof. It is hard to know which adjectives or superlatives to use to describe Torres' first season in English football. He announced himself to the Anfield public by scoring a beautifully-taken goal against Chelsea. He would score similar goals at Marseille and at Tottenham, by dropping his shoulder and easing past a defender before placing his shot immaculately into the far corner of the goal.
Benítez was criticised for 'resting' Torres early in the season but the facts suggest such criticism was unjustified. He was involved in 33 of the 38 League matches and even if he didn't play so frequently in the domestic cup games, he still found time to score a sublime hat-trick in the League cup-tie at Reading. In Europe though he was pretty much indispensable. Once the knock-out stage of the competition arrived, he really started to make people across the continent sit up and take notice, scoring a wonderful winner in the San Siro to see off the challenge of Inter Milan and then scoring against Arsenal and Chelsea in the quarter-final and semi-final. Torres wasn't prolific enough in away matches as just three of his 24 League goals came away from Anfield. At home he was absolutely sensational, especially in the second half of the season. His strike against Sunderland on 2 February 2007 started a run of eight successive home League matches in which he scored 12 times, including successive hat-tricks against Middlesbrough and West Ham United as well as the winner in his first Merseyside derby. It was a scoring run the like of which hadn't been seen at Anfield since the days of Roger Hunt, certainly not in a player's first full season at the club. In scoring at White Hart Lane on the final day of the League season, Torres overtook a record previously held by Ruud van Nistelrooy for the most number of League goals scored by a non-British player during his debut season in England's top division. He was runner-up to Cristiano Ronaldo in the vote for the Football Writers' Player of the Year and also came second when the votes were cast by his fellow professionals.
Torres did not finish his debut season with a winners' medal for his club, but on the international scene however, it was quite a different story. Torres travelled to the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland as part of a talented squad that included his Liverpool teammates Xabi Alonso, Pepe Reina and Alvaro Arbeloa. Torres played in all five matches as his country progressed to the final in Vienna. He proved he was the man for the big occasion by scoring a brilliant winner in the first-half. He had now scored winning goals in European championships' final at three different levels - Under-16, Under-19 and now senior - all of them ending 1-0, an incredible record. Liverpool's new favourite "Number Nine" had a stop-start season in 2008/09. Niggling injuries curtailed his progress and at the turn of the year Torres had only scored five goals in 16 matches, including a brace in away victories against Everton and Manchester City. Torres was determined to make up for lost time in the second part of the season and scored 11 goals in 22 matches when the title was Liverpool's to lose, which they unfortunately did.
In 2009/10 Fernando's goals-per-game ratio in Premier League matches was his best yet, 18 from 22 matches. In so doing, he became the fastest Liverpool player to reach 50 League goals. Frustratingly he missed almost as many matches as he played in, as Liverpool gained 23 less points in the League compared to the previous season. The major test of whether Liverpool could match Torres' ambitions did not come with a change of ownership or even a change of manager. It came when Chelsea tried again to prize him away from Anfield in the January 2011 transfer-window. It hardly came as a surprise when Torres handed in a transfer request as he had been looking very unhappy in the red shirt in the last few months. On the day the window closed Torres was at Melwood in the morning but in the evening he was in London signing for defending Premiership champions. It was a most unsatisfactory end to Torres' three and a half years in L4. His quip of never having kissed the Liverpool badge left a bitter taste.
Many onlookers suspected that Chelsea would find it difficult to accommodate Drogba, Anelka and Torres in the same team and so it proved. The fourth most expensive player in history made his Chelsea debut against his former club Liverpool early in February 2011. Carragher and Agger snuffed out any threat from their former teammate and the Spaniard was substituted shortly before Meireles scored the only goal of the game for the visitors. Torres would have to wait until 23 April to score his first Chelsea goal and by the end of the season it was still his only goal from 14 Premier League matches and four Champions League matches. The massive transfer fee seemed to be a real millstone around his neck, but his performances for Chelsea in the second half of the season were really no different to those for Liverpool in the first half of the season. Torres continued to struggle to score goals in the 2011/12 season, netting only six times from thirty-two Premier League fixtures. His goals-per-game ratio was slightly better in cup competitions and he did finally get his first winners' medals at club level. However, his contribution to Chelsea's cup double was small as he was an unused substitute against Liverpool in the FA Cup final at Wembley and was only brought on as a substitute a few minutes from the end of normal time in the Champions League final in Munich. At Liverpool 69% of Torres' goals, a total of 56, were engineered by defence-splitting passes, in most instances from Steven Gerrard or Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard was in no doubt comforted in seeing Rafa Benítez replacing Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea's manager in November 2012. Whether his former boss can play to Torres' strengths like at Liverpool, remains to be seen.
The Spaniard's form improved under his former Liverpool manager. Although he still wasn't finding the net too regularly in Premier League matches in 2012/13 (just eight from thirty-six appearances), his goals in the Europa League (six from nine matches) were a key factor in Chelsea reachiing the Amsterdam final, where Torres scored the first goal in a 2-1 victory over Benfica. But only thirty-four goals overall in two and a half seasons at Stamford Bridge was still nowhere near the goals-per-game ratio he had enjoyed as a Liverpool player.
In 2013/14 Torres started sixteen Premier League matches for Chelsea and came on as a substitute in another twelve. He also played in three domestic cup-ties, the European Super Cup match against Bayern Munich at the start of the season and nine Champions League matches, including both legs of the semi-final against his first club, Atletico Madrid. His goal return for the season was eleven from forty-one matches.
After three and a half years as a Chelsea player the 30-year-old striker agreed to move on loan for two years to Italian club AC Milan. He had only scored one league goal in 589 minutes for the Milan club when it was announced on 27 December that he was going to make his move permanent in January. Only 48 hours later Milan loaned Torres for 18 months to his boyhood club, Atletico. Torres hopes to reclaim his former glory on the pitch as he told Atletico's official website: "I'm going to Atletico in the pursuit of my happiness. When I was a child, my dream was to play for Atletico. I achieved that and to come back now is another dream I get to accomplish again. I've been fine with other teams, but there isn't one like Atleti."