Torres told Spain career over unless he starts scoring for Chelsea
Published 22:30 07/09/11 By David Anderson
Fernando Torres has been warned his goal drought for Chelsea is threatening his international career.
Spain boss Vicente Del Bosque has told Torres he will not pick him again until he starts scoring for Chelsea.
Once Spain’s golden boy, Torres has tumbled down his country’s pecking order of strikers after managing just one goal for the Blues since his record £50million move from Liverpool in January.
Torres may have scored the winner in the Euro 2008 Final and been part of Spain’s World Cup-winning side, but Del Bosque claims that counts for nothing now.
Del Bosque did not even name Torres on the bench for Spain’s 6-0 win over Liechtenstein in the Euro 2012 qualifiers on Tuesday as he humiliated him by ordering him to sit in the stands.
He refuses to apologise to Torres for his tough treatment and says he must start performing at Chelsea to get his place back.
“Torres is an important player, but those who stand out with their clubs will get the call to the national team, not the other way around,” said the former Champions League-winning Real Madrid coach.
Del Bosque felt he had no option but to axe Torres because the former Anfield hero has not scored for his country since a double against Liechtenstein 12 months ago.
Torres, 27, has lost his place in Spain’s attack to David Villa, the country’s all-time top scorer, and Alvaro Negredo.
Fernando Llorente has also overtaken him and started on the bench against Liechtentstein to relegate Torres to the stands.
Del Bosque is under no pressure to recall Torres and Tuesday’s win maintained Spain’s 100 per cent record in qualifying and booked their place at next summer’s finals in Poland and Ukraine.
His tough line will further dent Torres’ fragile confidence as he attempts to get his once-glittering career back on track after a horrendous 12 months.
El Nino, who scored 81 goals in 142 games for Liverpool to become one of the world’s most-feared strikers, has endured a miserable time at Stamford Bridge and took 14 games to get off the mark for the Blues.
His hopes that he would kick on after that effort against West Ham in April quickly disappeared and it remains his only goal for Chelsea in 21 appearances.
Andre Villas-Boas is standing by Torres for now, but has replaced him in each of Chelsea’s three Premier League games this season.
Negredo, who scored twice against Liechtenstein, sympathises with Torres as he struggles to rediscover his scoring touch.
He tried to boost his team-mate by saying he is still an important member of the Spanish squad.
“He came down to the locker room after the game and congratulated me,” said Negredo. “I’m not going to get into whether he was upset or not. I would understand it if he were, because it is not pleasant to come and then not play a minute.
“But he is still a great team-mate and one of the national team’s captains.”