‘I wanted to win titles and was running out of time’ March 26, 2022 – Posted in: Soccer

With the return of another international break comes the all-too-familiar questions over the futures of certain players – and Harry Kane is no exception.

Is it finally time the prolific goalscorer put his career first and left Spurs to win the major honours his talent deserves? He only has to look at the career of one former Premier League star to find the answer…

Getty

Kane wanted to join Man City last summer, but the move was blocked

Kane is one of their own at Tottenham but the striker has long been linked with an exit, and courted interest from Man City in the summer to no avail.

He remained in north London and, although his failed exit appeared to affect his form, the 28-year-old soon recovered his scoring touch and has even broken records since – along with teammate Heung-Min Son.

Many of you may recoil with surprise upon reading his age. Yes, Harry Kane is 28, well into the peak of his career, and he still has absolutely zero to show for it in terms of any silverware.

Personal awards and accolades he has aplenty, but enough to satisfy his desire for the big trophy? No chance. Could he end that wait for major honours in a Spurs shirt? Currently, it’s looking doubtful.

The summer transfer window approaches and with it will soon come the rampant speculation over his future, and perhaps it’s finally time he put his foot down.

And there is one man he could perhaps lean on for advice. A man who made the same very choice which upset and alienated his club’s entire fanbase with one heartbreaking transfer.

That man? El Nino, Liverpool’s No.9, Fernando Torres.

Torres is still adored by some Liverpool fans as one of the club’s best ever strikers, but others will never forgive him

Getty Images – Getty

Torres is still adored by some Liverpool fans as one of the club’s best ever strikers, but others will never forgive him


I say club, because by the time El Nino decided to leave Liverpool he was already a World Cup and European Championship winner – but he was still waiting for the glory at club level he dreamed of as a boy at Atletico Madrid.

The decision to leave Atleti was hard enough for Torres, but he did so for the good of his career knowing he would not taste major success with his boyhood side – and knew it was in the interest of the club’s future he was sold, too.

He joined Liverpool to win major honours, and felt they were surely around the corner after watching the Reds lift the Champions League title against the odds under fellow Spaniard Rafael Benitez.

Torres became an instant hero at Anfield, beloved by supporters for his uncanny ability to score goals from pretty much anywhere around the box and – like Kane and Son – his telepathic relationship with Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard, like all Reds fans, was heartbroken by Torres’ exit – but he understood why.

In a 2020 documentary – ‘Fernando Torres: The Last Symbol’ – Torres looked back on his Liverpool exit and revealed just why he made that move.

Gerrard loved playing with Torres and the pair dovetailed superbly

getty

Gerrard loved playing with Torres and the pair dovetailed superbly

Like Gerrard and Torres, Tottenham stars Kane and Son are one of the Premier League’s all-time greatest goalscoring partnerships

Getty

Like Gerrard and Torres, Tottenham stars Kane and Son are one of the Premier League’s all-time greatest goalscoring partnerships

And for any Tottenham fan concerned about Kane’s future, the similarities between the two players’ situations may surprise you…

“All the conditions came together for me to shine at Liverpool,” said Torres. “With Gerrard I was spoiled. I could play with one of the best players in the world at the peak of his career.

“I had all the conditions I needed. To know the connection between player and fan, that I’ve always needed, and it was there. They made me feel like I’d almost been born there.”

But something was missing….

“My first year at Liverpool I couldn’t have written it better,” he added. The highest-scoring new signing in the history of the Premier League – tied with Ruud van Nistelrooy – the first Liverpool player to get more than 20 goals in a season since Michael Owen.

He was also the fastest player to reach 50 goals in Liverpool’s history, achieving the feat in 72 games – although that record is now held by Mohamed Salah who managed his half-century in 69 Reds appearances.

Torres was unplayable in the early years of his Liverpool career

AFP – Getty

Torres was unplayable in the early years of his Liverpool career

“It was going well, but I need more. I start getting very ambitious. I’m missing titles that slipped between our fingers, especially the Champions League.”

Torres scored the winning goal in the Euro 2008 final to win Spain the trophy, he was then voted third behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in the World Player of the Year award… but he was still waiting for glory with the Reds.

“As much as that first great season for Liverpool put me in that place to score a goal in the Euro final, I need titles and I’m not getting them.

“Goals are important to me, big games… [but] trophies are important to me.”

Torres got his first taste of major silverware in the Euro 2008 final for Spain, and it left him wanting more

getty

Torres got his first taste of major silverware in the Euro 2008 final for Spain, and it left him wanting more

Torres then goes into detail – detail not previously heard before – about his Liverpool exit and why he decided to jump ship to Chelsea.

And he did not hold back as he accused the Liverpool hierarchy of ‘stabbing me in the back’ and reneging on their promises to him.

Sound familiar, Tottenham fans?

He told the documentary: “There’s a moment of contradiction in the club’s discourse that we’re going to improve, bring in players to complete the squad, to take that last little step to get to a final, to compete with United… but Xabi Alonso leaves.

“That summer another pillar leaves in Javier Mascharano, then the exit of Rafa Benitez later.

“Now we’re really far away, very far from what I was looking for when I left home. I left home to come here.”

Torres put his body on the line as he helped Spain lift the 2010 World Cup – and provided the cross that led to Andres Iniesta’s winning goal

getty

Torres put his body on the line as he helped Spain lift the 2010 World Cup – and provided the cross that led to Andres Iniesta’s winning goal

But at Liverpool he was still waiting for his moment of glory

getty

But at Liverpool he was still waiting for his moment of glory

After four years at Anfield and after lifting the World Cup with Spain, Torres handed in a transfer request in January 2011.

He was a club hero, one of the best strikers in their history with a handful of records to his name and the top titles with his country, but none in a Liverpool shirt.

“I will always regret not having tried to stop the team falling apart, demanding that they sign players, but I don’t regret having left because they didn’t fulfil the promises and expectations that the club had offered me. 

“What happened during that period was that nobody was bothered about Liverpool or their fans. On a director’s level, the club doesn’t exist.

“At the time there were people in charge as they sold the club who didn’t care a bit about Liverpool [Tom Hicks and George Gillett] or any of the players personally. The club was in ruin internally. It needed years to recover. I didn’t have that kind of time.

“When we explained the situation [to club chiefs] I never saw any evidence that they cared about me leaving. Rather it started to become ‘how much will we earn and when will we do it?’

“I don’t know where they came from, but they stabbed me in the back and betrayed me.”

The image that broke Gerrard and every Liverpool fans’ heart – while Torres wasn’t as prolific at Chelsea, he won many trophies

getty

The image that broke Gerrard and every Liverpool fans’ heart – while Torres wasn’t as prolific at Chelsea, he won many trophies

Some Liverpool will never forgive Torres for leaving them to join rivals Chelsea

getty

Some Liverpool will never forgive Torres for leaving them to join rivals Chelsea

Upon joining Chelsea that same January, he made his reasoning behind the switch quite clear.

Surrounded by a rabble of press, he said: “I have left friends, I have left memories, I achieved some personal goals, others were left unfulfilled. All footballers need to feel they’ve fulfilled their potential and now I’m going to look for it at Chelsea. It’s a big step for me, and I only hope it lives up to expectations.”

Asked by journalists if he wanted to win more titles, he replied: “Yes, we all want that.”

It felt like a betrayal for Liverpool fans, particularly joining Chelsea who were not only big rivals at the time but also represented new money and the north vs south divide ingrained in the mentality of those on Merseyside.

“I understand the reaction, the anger, the disappointment… [but] I didn’t consider the rivalry, I didn’t care about the city or the glamour. 

“I chose the place I thought would get me closer to what I didn’t have, the reason I left home, which was [to win] titles.”

Torres was not the same player at Chelsea, but his move to London delivered the titles he wanted

getty

Torres was not the same player at Chelsea, but his move to London delivered the titles he wanted

Torres lifted three major trophies in four seasons as a Chelsea player

getty

Torres lifted three major trophies in four seasons as a Chelsea player

Torres was not the same player in a Chelsea shirt. Injuries played a part, but it appeared he lost his mojo without the backing of supporters who loved him – instead he was met with huge expectations due to his £50million price tag, and Chelsea fans never warmed to him.

Ultimately, though, his move was a success. He was not the main man at Chelsea, he was not universally loved, he was not breaking records, he was not even regularly playing, but he won the titles he craved.

Only the Premier League title eluded him as Torres lifted the Champions League – scoring a vital goal against Barcelona in their route to the final, a goal Gary Neville loved – the Europa League and a FA Cup.

It meant after hanging up his boots – while playing for Japanese club Sagan Tosu in 2019 – he could look back on his career with great satisfaction that he achieved what he set out to do.

Torres retired as a World Cup, European Championship, Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup winner

getty

Torres retired as a World Cup, European Championship, Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup winner

Should Kane follow in the Spaniard’s footsteps to pursuit honours away from Tottenham?

getty

Should Kane follow in the Spaniard’s footsteps to pursuit honours away from Tottenham?

Would he have preferred to have won it all with Atletico Madrid or Liverpool? Surely.

But a Champions League crown, two Europa League trophies, a FA Cup, a World Cup and two European Championships means he made the correct decisions for his career at the right time.

Like it or not, he was right to leave the clubs close to his heart when he did.

When Kane eventually retires, will he be able to say the same?

Betting Offer Of The Day

Bet365: Bet £10 Get £50 in free bets – CLAIM HERE

Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply 18+ Begambleaware.org

Source link – talksport.com