I feel like a Scouser

In just two short seasons Fernando Torres has smashed a collection of records, made the Kop bounce like never before and attained the kind of legendary status it takes most players years to enjoy.

So what's his secret - and how has he kept his feet on the ground since becoming one of the most lauded footballers on the planet? popped down to Anfield to get to know the man behind the headlines.

In this revealing interview, El Nino lifts the lid on his relationship with Stevie G, chats about how Evertonians treat him in the street and explains why he wants his little girl to have a Scouse accent.

You've lived in Liverpool two years now, Fernando - how much do you feel at home here?

I really feel at home here. From the first day I came right up until today I have felt that Anfield is my home. I feel like I am from Liverpool.

When people arrive in Liverpool they visit all the tourist attractions - the Albert Dock, The Cavern, the house where John Lennon grew up. Were you the same?

Yes, of course. I visited John Lennon's house and the Beatles museum and everywhere else like the cathedrals. In the first month I went around visiting all the important things in Liverpool with my friends. But the most important thing here is Anfield, and I can enjoy that every two weeks.

Where's your favourite place to go?

For me, Anfield is the best place in England but when I am with my family we normally go to the city centre. We like to have a walk along the Albert Dock, watching the docks and chatting to people. It's very nice to have the people recognise me and they always seem to have good words for me. They ask me things about Liverpool and about myself.

What are Evertonians like with you?

To be honest, I have to say thank-you to the Evertonian people as well because they also come and ask me things and talk to me in a really good way. When I was in Madrid, the Real Madrid fans didn't like me. But here the Everton fans are really friendly with me. I was surprised at first.

What does that say about the people of this city?

Yes, the people here are very different. In Madrid the people don't have as much respect for players. You can't do the things normal people do. But here people are very respectful of players away from the pitch. I can go to the supermarket, I can go for a drink anywhere. The quality of life here for me is much better because I can do everything I want. I am a normal person here. I can go for a walk along the beach or up to Formby. Every place I go I can act normally.

You seem to know a lot about Liverpool Football Club and its history. How did you go about learning that?

On the first day the club gave me books and DVDs. Plenty of them about the history. I am very proud to play for Liverpool because it is a club with a lot of history. I would like to be part of this history one day by winning trophies. The fans here have seen some of the best players in the world playing for Liverpool and now they sing my name, but I have only been here two years and I haven't won trophies, I've only scored some goals. I hope in a few years I can write another book explaining about the victories and trophies I've won at Liverpool.

How big a problem was the language barrier when you first arrived?

At the beginning it was difficult, but funny at the same time. I made some mistakes. I couldn't understand anything in restaurants and I couldn't read the bank letters or electricity and water bills. I didn't know if I'd paid or not, then I got more letters asking for money. The people at the club helped us, though.

How's your Scouse now - picked up any words?

Deffo! I am picking up words because a lot of people at the club are Scousers. It was difficult in the beginning but, more or less, I can understand them now.

You're a father now - do you see your little girl growing up here in Liverpool as a little Scouser?

I think so. Some of my teammates have kids and they speak with a strong Scouse accent. I hope to be here for a long time and if my daughter speaks English and Scouse, I will be proud.

Has fatherhood changed you?

Yes, a little bit - I cannot rest properly anymore! No, I can. I have a really nice baby and I can sleep. But I have more responsibilities now and you start to think about things in a different way. You have a wife and a daughter, so you're not a kid anymore. You have to think about the future of your family.

Do you get involved in the dirty work like nappy changing and getting up in the night?

Yes, of course. From the first day. It's something you have to enjoy. I help a lot and I want to keep enjoying that.

So, you and your family are at home on a Saturday night - what's on TV in the Torres household?

It's normally football. Also the news - sports news. It is easier for me to understand the TV if it's about sports.

You are a global superstar now but do you still see your old mates - the people you grew up with?

Yes. I have friends over almost every weekend, and they're the same friends I had as a kid. This is the main thing - keeping your friends and family close to you. They keep your feet on the ground. When we are alone they tell me I am the same as I was before, and I have to thank them because they always help and support me.

We know all about you and Steven Gerrard on the pitch - tell us about your relationship off it?

It's a really professional relationship. I know Stevie is one of the best players in the world and it's a difficult life for him sometimes because everyone knows him and it's difficult to go to restaurants and things like that. He is a fantastic teammate - always aware of the other players and asking if we need anything. It's amazing to see a player like him having the same quality as a person. He is a fantastic captain.

You've achieved so much in your two years here - do you still get the same buzz when you score a goal or see the fans bouncing?

For me, it's amazing to score at Anfield and amazing to score in front of the Kop. When I hear people sing my name it's the best feeling I can have on the pitch. Maybe it's better than when I score a goal. I hope to hear my song a lot more in the future.

Do you ever think about what you'll do after football?

No, I don't know yet. I'm trying to enjoy my career and I have plenty of years to play football yet. Maybe in eight, nine, 10 years I will have to think about the future, but not now.

Everyone hopes you'll be here a long time yet - but how would you ultimately like to be remembered by Liverpool fans?

I would like to be remembered as a player who won trophies for Liverpool. I have plenty of years here, I am sure about that, and I hope the trophies will come soon.

Copyright - - Author: Jimmy Rice

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