Might misfiring Torres miss out on Euro 2012?
Fierce competition for places in Spain’s frontline for Euro 2012 has increased the pressure on misfiring Chelsea striker Fernando Torres.
Some are even suggesting the hero of Spain’s triumph at Euro 2008 may not even make the squad for the tournament in Poland and Ukraine next year and have speculated coach Vicente del Bosque could pick strikers including Alvaro Negredo (pictured) and Fernando Llorente ahead of the former Liverpool man.
The world and continental champions thrashed Liechtenstein 6-0 on Tuesday to qualify for the finals, but Torres was left to watch from the stands as David Villa, Spain’s all-time top scorer, and Negredo both netted doubles.
“There were ten players who didn’t play,” Del Bosque said when asked afterwards about the surprise decision to leave Torres out.
“He is an important player but the people selected for the national team are those who do well for their clubs, not the other way round.”
Torres has scored 27 goals for Spain, including the winner in their 1-0 Euro 2008 final victory over Germany, but was short of match fitness after injury and contributed little to last year’s victorious World Cup finals campaign.
The 27-year-old continued to struggle for form in the Premier League last season when a high-profile transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea failed to spark a change in fortunes and
he still has only one goal to his name at Stamford Bridge.
Over the last year he has only managed to find the net once for the national team, in a June friendly against the United States, and the competition to be Villa’s strike partner is
Barcelona’s Villa took his tally to 49 in Logrono on Tuesday, while Sevilla’s Negredo bagged his third goal in two matches and his fifth in seven outings.
Athletic Bilbao’s Llorente and Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, who notched a hat-trick on the opening day of the La Liga season, are also pushing hard for a place.
Former Real Madrid youth team forward Negredo, played down the significance of Torres’s relegation to the stands.
“He came down to the dressing room after the game and congratulated me,” Negredo told sports daily AS.
“I’m not going to enter into whether he was annoyed or anything, it was a great gesture to congratulate me for the goals.
“I would understand it if he was, because it isn’t much fun to come and not play a single minute, but he is a great colleague and is one of the captains of the national team.”
PHOTO: Spain’s Alvaro Negredo celebrates after scoring his second goal against Liechtenstein during their Euro 2012 Group I qualifier at the Las Gaunas stadium in Logrono, northern Spain, September 6, 2011. REUTERS/Vincent West.