N - El Niño
Fernando Torres signed for Chelsea Football Club on transfer deadline day in January 2011 from Liverpool Football Club. Breaking a British transfer fee record (£50 million), Torres, aka El Niño, arrived with high expectations to bring the club more storied success.
For the remainder of the 2010/11 season, Torres struggled in form. He scored his first and only goal against West Ham. He succeeded in impressing new boss Andre Villas Boas over pre-season in Asia during the summer and became the starting striker when the Premier League began again in August.
After a Man of the Match performance in a nil-nil draw away to Stoke City, Torres retained the starting line up throughout the beginning of the league campaign. He netted his first goal of the season at Old Trafford against Manchester United. He scored again against Swansea City, but was red carded soon after.
His EPL goal drought ended in March after the dismissal of AVB, where Torres scored against Aston Villa in a 4-2 away win. His return to scoring under the wing of interim manager Roberto Di Matteo, as well as providing many assists to his teammates, was accentuated on one of the most memorable nights in Chelsea history. Backs against the wall at Camp Nou, Torres came on as a substitute for Didier Drogba. Although losing 2-1, Chelsea was mere minutes away from advancing to the Champions League Final. After giving away the ball, Torres made a run up the field. Ashley Cole recovered his lost ball, and lobbed it right in the path of Torres. One on one with Valdes, Torres simply skipped over the keeper and tapped in the ball to secure a 2-2 draw and a date with Bayern Munich in May.
Although the Fernando Torres saga has had its ups and downs and everything in between, much of the Chelsea loyal have become loyal, too, to the Spaniard. He cites the fans support of him as a reason for coming through tough times. “To hear the fans sing your name, it’s the best feeling you can have. The relationship with the fans or what they think of me is really important, it makes me feel better or stronger, and from the first day I felt this support. Every time they sing my support it is amazing.”