Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miami Heat Is on Torres as He Tries to Show Mourinho That He's Special

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Miami Heat Is on Torres as He Tries to Show Mourinho That He's Special

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon Johnson Football Correspondent

LIFE for Fernando Torres at Chelsea has never been easy but this summer the striker has more of a fight on his hands than ever before.

In Miami tonight, all the focus will be on a duel between managers facing their former clubs for the first time as Jose Mourinho's Chelsea take on Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid in the final of the International Champions Cup.

But the match holds far more significance for Torres in terms of making an impression on the Special One, who returned to the club in June, and safeguard his future at Stamford Bridge. It feels like the 29-year-old has been facing an uphill struggle ever since he agreed to a British-record [pounds sterling]50million move from Liverpool in 2011.

He may have scored a personal best 22 goals for the Blues last term but that has not stopped Mourinho's stubborn pursuit of Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney.

The Portuguese's strong interest in the England striker betrays a confidence that he will get his man, leaving Torres's role even more open to debate.

The Spain international is already facing increased competition this term from the youthful vigour of Romelu Lukaku as well as Demba Ba. They have been playing from the start of pre-season while Torres only returned to the club last week due to his involvement in the Confederations Cup. Still, it is a challenge he is willing to accept, especially after seeing the desire among the squad to win Mourinho's favour.

"I don't remember the last time I had four weeks off in a summer," he said. "It was great and now I am fully prepared for the season, which should be a good one for all of us.

"Everyone is giving everything to be in the manager's plans. Everyone wants to play in the first XI, so people are working even harder in the middle of the season. …

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