Tag Archives: fernando

Fernando Torres is staying at Chelsea despite interest from Fiorentina

Torres: I’m STAYING at Chelsea and will fight for my place with Falcao, despite interest from Fiorentina

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

16:28 GMT, 24 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:19 GMT, 25 April 2013

With Radamel Falcao at the top of Chelsea’s list of summer transfer targets, Fernando Torres insists he will not be the fall-guy for another big-name centre forward.

Atletico Madrid are selling Falcao, who has scored 25 goals in La Liga this season, for 50million.

Chelsea are front of the queue of clubs for the Colombian, with reports on Wednesday night claiming that he could be Jose Mourinho’s marquee signing if, as expected, the Portuguese returns to Stamford Bridge this summer.

However, Torres is determined to see out the three years left on his contract.

Staying put: Torres talks to the media on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League semi-final

Staying put: Torres talks to the media on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League semi-final

Staying put: Torres talks to the media on Wednesday ahead of the Europa League semi-final

Torres said: ‘When you play for Chelsea you’re always hoping big names come, and the big names are always related with Chelsea.

‘You cannot stop that, especially when the summer comes, and every top player is welcome at Chelsea. Since I came we have only signed top players, so it would not be a surprise if we signed Falcao.’

Torres scored seven goals in Europe this season and will lead the line in this evening’s Europa League semi-final first leg in Basle. Demba Ba is cup-tied.

On the way: Falcao is expected to arrive from Atletico Madrid in the summer

On the way: Falcao is expected to arrive from Atletico Madrid in the summer

Man in the mask: Torres trains with his team-mates in Basle on Wednesday

Man in the mask: Torres trains with his team-mates in Basle on Wednesday

The Spaniard’s last Barclays Premier League goal was in the 8-0 victory over Aston Villa on December 23, but despite his indifferent form for Chelsea since a 50m move from Liverpool in 2011, Torres claims his long-term future is in London.

The 29-year-old added: ‘I’m happy at the moment, but I’d be happier if we won the Europa League. I’ve always felt part of this club. Things change, but you can see this season I have been the main striker.

‘This season has been better for me, but it’s not been at the level I want to be. I really think this club has told me the truth. They have hopes for me and they trust me — they don’t say the opposite.

‘I know I want to stay. If they change their minds it’s a different question, but the relationship between me and the club is very straight. It’s not a problem at all.’

Torres scored against Rubin Kazan in the quarter-final second leg in Moscow and is keen to add the Europa League trophy to last season’s Champions League.

Torres added: ‘I hope there’s more to come as I’m still young. We can win the Europa League this season, but we can still win much more. The squad and players are young — we can do great things. I would like to be involved for the next few years because we can become one of the best teams in Europe, not just England.’

Forward thinking: Torres is optimistic about the future at Chelsea

Forward thinking: Torres is optimistic about the future at Chelsea

Fiorentina, however, have expressed interest in signing Torres.

The
29-year-old has grown increasingly frustrated over his form and playing
time at Stamford Bridge and is expected to be pushed further down the
pecking order this summer as Chelsea look to add another two strikers.

Highly rated: Stevan Jovetic could be heading to the Premier League

Highly rated: Stevan Jovetic could be heading to the Premier League

Fiorentina want someone to replace Stevan Jovetic who they anticipate joining either Arsenal or Manchester City.

Their chief scout Eduardo Macia played a role in taking Torres to Liverpool in 2007.

Lewis Hamilton given five-place grid penalty for Bahrain Grand Prix after gearbox change

Hamilton blow as Mercedes star is hit with five-place grid penalty after gearbox change

By
Ian Parkes, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

10:06 GMT, 20 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:12 GMT, 20 April 2013

Lewis Hamilton has been slapped with a five-place grid penalty for tomorrow's Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver was forced to change his gearbox after this morning's final practice session following a suspension failure on his in-lap.

As a consequence of changing the left-rear corner of the car, the team have also had to replace the gearbox, resulting in the grid penalty.

Blow: Lewis Hamilton hit with five-place grid penalty after gearbox change

Blow: Lewis Hamilton hit with five-place grid penalty after gearbox change

Blow: Lewis Hamilton has been hit with a five-place grid penalty

Although on pole position a week ago
in China, from where the 28-year-old finished third, balance issues have
affected Hamilton so far this weekend at the Bahrain International
Circuit.

Hamilton finished fifth quickest in final practice, just over two tenths of a second behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.

Hamilton is the third driver to face a
penalty for tomorrow's race as Mark Webber was handed a three-place
drop after colliding with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne in Shanghai.

Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez will also
drop five places following qualifying after he ran into the back of
Force India's Adrian Sutil in the same race.

Drama: The British driver suffered a suspension failure in this morning's practice session

Drama: The British driver suffered a suspension failure in this morning's practice session

Lewis Hamilton

Alonso, on the back of his
31st-career victory in China last Sunday, has been highly impressive
around the desert-based Bahrain International Circuit and was fastest this morning.

With a high police presence around
the track as local authorities are determined to keep anti-government
protesters at bay, Formula One is virtually oblivious to what goes on
away from it.

On the circuit, Alonso led a
tightly-bunched field, with the top six separated by just two tenths of a
second, and the front nine by half a second.

Alonso, last on pole in Germany last
year, set a lap of one minute 33.247secs which was almost a second
quicker than the leading time of yesterday posted by Lotus' Kimi
Raikkonen.

As in second practice, the Red Bull
drivers had to settle for second and third on the timesheet, on this
occasion with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel ahead of Mark
Webber.

Vettel, who finished 0.101secs behind
Alonso and 0.032secs ahead of team-mate Webber, had looked poised to
snatch top spot from Alonso as he posted personal best times in the
first two sectors, only to be blocked by a Caterham.

Leading the way: Fernando Alonso was fastest in this morning's practice

Leading the way: Fernando Alonso was fastest in this morning's practice

Raikkonen was down in fourth,
0.199secs adrift, with Hamilton an improved fifth and 0.208secs down
after complaining of balance issues yesterday.

Behind the 28-year-old were Lotus'
Romain Grosjean, appearing more comfortable with the new chassis given
to him this weekend, followed by Force India pair Adrian Sutil and Paul
Di Resta.

Mercedes' Nico Hulkenberg was ninth quickest, 0.517secs off Alonso's pace, with Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10.

Out of sorts: Jenson Button was off the pace in 12th

Out of sorts: Jenson Button was off the pace in 12th

Felipe Massa inexplicably now finds
himself struggling for pace as the Brazilian, quickest in first
practice, was languishing in 11th at the end of FP3 and 0.702secs behind
team-mate Alonso.

As for McLaren, their struggles
continue with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez 12th and 13th, the latter a
full second behind Alonso.

Towards the rear, Marussia also face
issues as Max Chilton managed just seven laps due to the team having to
replace the KERS water pump.

Chilton, however, was not last as
that position belonged to Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez who concentrated on
a long run, completing 28 laps overall, but finishing 6.345secs down.

Demba Ba begs Rafa Benitez to play him and Fernando Torres up front together for Chelsea

Play me and Torres up front… we'll blast Chelsea back into the Champions League, insists Ba

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

14:45 GMT, 19 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:16 GMT, 19 April 2013

Demba Ba has told Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez that he and Fernando Torres are ready to start up front together in Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash against Liverpool.

Benitez has rotated the two strikers in a 4-2-3-1 formation since Ba joined from Newcastle in January but the pair combined effectively in the second half of last weekend's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester City.

Benitez faces a selection dilemma with Torres desperate to start at his former club and Ba's form in front of goal making him hard to ignore – but the Senegalese insists they can play together.

Ba

Torres

Partners in crime Demba Ba (left) has said he wants to play with Fernando Torres (right) up front for Chelsea

He told the London Evening Standard:
'When he came on the pitch against City he helped me a lot. We caused
them problems so I think we could play together.

'We combined against Brentford earlier
in the competition, too, so I don’t believe it would be a problem for
us. Most of the time we have to fight against the two central defenders
on our own. If you have an extra body there, it makes it easier.

'This is also very important in
football, to be able to control the game. I would understand if Fernando
wants to start against Liverpool. We’re not making the decision but I
would understand if he does.

One or the other: Ba (left) has rarely played with Torres, the two usually used as like-for-like replacements

One or the other: Ba (left) has rarely played with Torres, the two usually used as like-for-like replacements

Chelsea

Meanwhile, Benitez insists he is
focused only on the immediate future and not his past with Liverpool as
he prepares to take his Chelsea side to Anfield.

In a press conference on Friday the
Spaniard declined to assess Liverpool since his departure in June 2010
or to talk about events at Anfield ahead of his first return as an
opposing manager.

'I have a lot of respect, but I have to concentrate on my team,' Benitez said.

'I don't want any misunderstanding, so
I will concentrate just on Chelsea and the game and try to enjoy it,
especially if we can win.'

Job at hand: Rafa Benitez insists he is only focused on Chelsea ahead of his return to Liverpool

Job at hand: Rafa Benitez insists he is only focused on Chelsea ahead of his return to Liverpool

Benitez is expected to receive a warm
welcome in the week which marked both his 53rd birthday and the 24th
anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

He spent six years at Anfield, helping
Liverpool to the 2005 Champions League in his first season, the FA Cup,
the Community Shield and European Super Cup, while the Reds finished
second in the Premier League in 2008-09.

His family home remains on Merseyside
and he supports the campaigners in their fight for justice for the 96
supporters killed at Hillsborough in 1989.

His is a lasting bond with Liverpool, but Benitez's aim is to defeat his former club.

'I'm a professional and I am committed
with Chelsea until the end of the season, to win, to achieve our
targets,' said Benitez, who is out of contract at the end of the
campaign.

Flying the flag: Benitez is still a hugely popular figure at Anfield, having won them the Champions League in 2005

Flying the flag: Benitez is still a hugely popular figure at Anfield, having won them the Champions League in 2005

'I was there for six years, winning a lot of things together.

'They (Liverpool supporters) will
appreciate that, but at the same time they will try to support their
team and they will understand that I have to try to do my best and win.'

Benitez recently was quoted as saying
he wanted to return 'home' to Liverpool and that his wish was to move to
a top club, possibly in England next season.

That was interpreted by some as a possible return to Liverpool, but Benitez meant his family home.

For reasons of clarity, the Spaniard declined the opportunity to appraise Reds incumbent Brendan Rodgers.

'I have a lot of respect for Liverpool Football Club and all their managers,' he said.

'What I said clearly is Liverpool is
my home, my family is living there and because I don't want any
misunderstanding, I will not talk about the club, the position or the
manager's position or whatever. My family's there, it's my home.'

Fulham 0 Chelsea 3: Premier League match report – David Luiz and John Terry strike to give Blues victory

Fulham 0 Chelsea 3: Luiz rocket and Terry double give Benitez's boys derby day spoils and Champions League advantage

PUBLISHED:

20:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:53 GMT, 17 April 2013

David Luiz scored one of the goals of the season and captain John Terry added a further two to give Chelsea a convincing victory and the advantage in the race for the Champions League.

Rafa Benitez's team climb to third ahead of rivals Arsenal and Tottenham and are strongest placed of the three to seal third place.

More to follow…

All smiles: John Terry's double has boosted Chelsea's Champions League hopes

All smiles: John Terry's double has boosted Chelsea's Champions League hopes

MATCH FACTS

FULHAM: Schwarzer, Riise (Rodallega, 67), Senderos, Hangeland, Riether, Karagounis (Frimpong, 76), Emanuelson, Enoh, Berbatov, Petric (Frei, 82), Ruiz

Subs not used: Etheridge, Richardson, Hughes, Manolev

Booked: Senderos, Ruiz

CHELSEA: Cech, Ivanovic, David Luiz, Terry, Bertrand, Ramires (Mikel, 75), Lampard, Mata (Ba, 80), Moses, Hazard (Oscar, 69), Torres

Subs not used: Turnbull, Azpilicueta, Benayoun, Ake

Goals: Luiz 30, Terry 43, 71

Booked: Ivanovic

Att: 25,002

Referee: Mike Dean

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PREMIER LEAGUE FIXTURES, TABLE AND RESULTS

.

Spectacular: David Luiz had opened the scoring with a stunning finish

Spectacular: David Luiz had opened the scoring with a stunning finish

Leader: Terry then leapt highest to double Chelsea's lead

Leader: Terry then leapt highest to double Chelsea's lead

.

Time to celebrate: Chelsea looked rather safe after scoring their second goal

Time to celebrate: Chelsea looked rather safe after scoring their second goal

Masked marksman: Fernando Torres was again lively

Masked marksman: Fernando Torres was again lively

Returning to form The Spaniard set up Terry's second goal with this header

Returning to form The Spaniard set up Terry's second goal with this header

Fernando Alonso wins Chinese Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen finishes second and Lewis Hamilton third

Alonso wins Chinese GP: Flying Fernando claims Ferrari victory as Hamilton finishes third in Shanghai

PUBLISHED:

08:41 GMT, 14 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:41 GMT, 14 April 2013

Fernando Alonso stormed home to win the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday as British star Lewis Hamilton finished in third place.

The Spaniard started on the second row but soon passed pole-sitter Hamilton on his way to earning 25 World Championship points in Shanghai.

Mercedes' Hamilton fought bravely with Kimi Raikkonen for second place before eventually succumbing to the Lotus driver.

World champion Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, finished fourth but his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was forced to retire midway through the race.

More to follow

On top: Fernando Alonso earned his first victory of the season as he came home to win the Chinese Grand Prix

On top: Fernando Alonso earned his first victory of the season as he came home to win the Chinese Grand Prix

Podium: Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, was made to settle for third in his Mercedes

Podium: Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, was made to settle for third in his Mercedes

All action: Hamilton led into the first corner but was soon reeled in and passed by both Ferraris

All action: Hamilton led into the first corner but was soon reeled in and passed by both Ferraris

Wayward wheel: Red Bull's Mark Webber was forced to retire after losing a rear tyre

Wayward wheel: Red Bull's Mark Webber was forced to retire after losing a rear tyre

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Chinese grand prix qualifying

Hamilton on pole position in China after Webber runs out of fuel in qualifying in another Red Bull farce

By
Ian Parkes, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

07:07 GMT, 13 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:16 GMT, 13 April 2013

Lewis Hamilton lit up the Mercedes garage by grabbing his first pole position for the team since joining them at the start of the year.

For the 27th time in his Formula One career, Hamilton will lead away the field come the start of tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit.

Joining the 27-year-old on the front row will be Kimi Raikkonen in his Lotus ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Nico Rosberg in his Mercedes.

More to follow…

Pole position: Hamilton qualified fastest on Saturday

Pole position: Hamilton qualified fastest on Saturday

Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2 (Agg 3-5): Match Report: Didier Drogba gives Jose Mourinho a scare

Galatasaray 3 Real Madrid 2 (Agg 3-5): Drogba and Sneijder give Jose a scare as Spaniards make the semis

PUBLISHED:

20:42 GMT, 9 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 9 April 2013

Real Madrid progressed to the last four of the Champions League despite defeat on the night to a Galatasaray side whose second half comeback had Jose Mourinho's side in a panic.

Already three goals up from the first leg at the Bernabeu, the tie was seemingly put to bed by Cristiano Ronaldo's seventh-minute strike.

But an Emmanuel Eboue thunderbolt after 57 minutes brought Gala back level on the night, before Wesley Sneijder put the home side ahead after 70 minutes.

It's a Drogs life: Didier Drogba scored as Galatasaray won the second leg

It's a Drogs life: Didier Drogba scored as Galatasaray won the second leg

MATCH FACTS

Galatasaray: Muslera, Eboue (Elmander 80), Zan, Kaya, Riera, Altintop (Amrabat 46), Felipe Melo, Inan, Sneijder, Bulut (Sarioglu 63), Drogba.

Subs Not Used: Iscan, Aydin Yilmaz, Balta, Kurtulus.

Booked: Sneijder, Eboue, Amrabat.

Goals: Eboue 57, Sneijder 71, Drogba 72.

Real Madrid: Diego Lopez, Essien (Arbeloa 31), Pepe, Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Khedira, Modric, Di Maria, Ozil (Albiol 81), Ronaldo, Higuain (Benzema 73).

Subs Not Used: Casillas, Marcelo, Callejon, Morata.

Sent Off: Arbeloa (90).

Booked: Arbeloa.

Goals: Ronaldo 8, 90.

Attendnace: 52,000

Referee: Stephane Lannoy (France)

Seconds later Did Drogba reduced the aggregate deficit further and although Real substitute Alvaro Arbeloa saw red late on, Ronaldo notched his second in injury time, as Madrid's quest for a 10th European Cup continued.

The visitors started quickly and just three minutes were on the clock when Fernando Muslera rashly came out to clear, his effort falling to Angel Di Maria, who shot wide.

Four minutes later they were on the scoresheet. Sami Khedira was allowed to cross from the right and in came Ronaldo, who got to the ball before the home defender to shoot past a helpless Muslera from three yards out.

The tie looked finished as a contest and Ronaldo could have doubled his night's tally moments later when the home side backed off, but from 25 yards the Portuguese shot straight at Muslera.

Drogba went close to converting a Sneijder shot after 20 minutes in Gala's first meaningful attack, before Madrid almost went two-up.

A delicious back-heel pass from Ronaldo played in Di Maria, but his angled effort was well tipped over by the Gala stopper.

Keeping the dream alive: Drogba celebrates after making it 3-1 on the night

Keeping the dream alive: Drogba celebrates after making it 3-1 on the night

All going wrong: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain react after conceding their third goal

All going wrong: Cristiano Ronaldo and Gonzalo Higuain react after conceding their third goal

Mourinho was forced into his first change after 31 minutes when Michael Essien had to be replaced by Arbeloa due to a leg injury.

Sneijder forced Diego Lopez into his first save after 38 minutes in what was a lacklustre first-half display from the hosts.
Madrid missed another chance to go two up 11 minutes after the restart when Ronaldo somehow missed from eight yards out – scuffing his effort with the ball trapped under his feet.Moments later and the home side were level thanks to a tremendous goal, albeit from an unlikely source. Sneijder's hopeful cutback found a sprinting Eboue who from the edge of the box powered an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

And just three minutes later they should have gone ahead. Drogba's strength caused all sorts of problems for the Real defence with the ball falling to Sneijder.

However with just Lopez to beat and from 12 yards out he screwed his shot wide of the far post.
Eboue's goal had, however, galvanised the home side and with the Ataturk Stadium firmly behind their side Gala took a deserved lead.

Sneijder showed a turn of pace more associated with his best days at Inter, nutmegged Rafael Varane before side-footing into the corner.

And moments later it was 3-1 when Drogba got in front of his defender to flick a cross into the corner of the net.

Raul Albiol replaced Mesut Ozil as Mourinho looked to arrest his team's slide, but they had to play out the final moments with 10 men after Arbeloa saw red after receiving a second yellow card for dissent.

There was still time for a fifth goal on the night when Ronaldo scored in injury time.

Fernando Torres has been ruined by Chelsea – Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea have ruined the striker who once tormented me, says Saints boss Pochettino

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

09:01 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

09:02 GMT, 30 March 2013

Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Chelsea might be responsible for the decline of striker Fernando Torres.

During his time at Espanyol, Pochettino was pitted against a fearsome Torres when he broke into the Atletico Madrid first team and the 41-year-old remembers being tormented by the young striker.

Torres left Atletico for Liverpool in
2007 and took to Premier League life exceptionally well. But since a
50million move to Stamford Bridge, the Spain international has
struggled to recapture the devastating form shown in Madrid and on
Merseyside.

Superstar: Fernando Torres burst onto the scene at Atletico Madrid

Superstar: Fernando Torres burst onto the scene at Atletico Madrid

Shell: Torres has been in decline ever since joining Chelsea from Liverpool for 50million

Shell: Torres has been in decline ever since joining Chelsea from Liverpool for 50million

Pochettino, whose Southampton side aim to topple Chelsea at St Mary’s this afternoon, believes Torres has not looked at ease since moving to west London.

'I have played against Torres many times and he scored some goals against me,’ Pochettino told The Daily Star.

'I remember him being a quality player, full of strength and a player who knew which spaces to run into to create chances.

'Sometimes it happens where a player is comfortable and feels happy at a certain club as he was at Atletico and at Liverpool.

'But when you leave that club and join a new team maybe you do not feel as comfortable and as happy and that can affect your performances.

Candid: Pochettino remembers being terrorised by Torres during his time at Espanyol

Candid: Pochettino remembers being terrorised by Torres during his time at Espanyol

'I do not know if Torres will leave Chelsea but what is clear is there is no doubting his quality.'

Jack Cork further stoked the fires before this afternoon’s match by saying he would not swap Saints’ top goalscorer Rickie Lambert for Chelsea’s World Cup winner.

The 31-year-old Liverpudlian has scored 13 goals in his debut Premier League season, whereas Torres has only netted seven times this campaign.

Cork, who spent 14 years at The Bridge, said: ‘Rickie has been different class for us for the last three or four years.

'For someone of his build, his touch is unbelievable. He is great to have in your team.

'Torres and Demba Ba have scored lots of goals in their careers and you don’t pay 50m for someone who isn’t any good.

No way: Jack Cork says he would not swap Torres for Saints striker Rickie Lambert (second right)

No way: Jack Cork says he would not swap Torres for Saints striker Rickie Lambert (second right)

'But if you asked who I’d rather have in my team, I’d say Rickie.'

Cork, 23, heads into this afternoon’s match to face the club he left in 2011, having been at Chelsea since the age of eight but never making a senior appearance.

He added: 'Chelsea was massive for me and from the age of eight it was my dream to play for them. It was frustrating towards the end but I loved it when I was there.

'We had a good set of young players who have all gone on to play a high standard. That was when Chelsea were doing well and winning titles — so I can understand why nobody was given a chance.

'With the managers chopping and changing there is always a lot of pressure on them to win games, so it’s tough to blood youngsters.'

Heavy heart: Cork (left) left Chelsea after 14 years at Stamford Bridge

Heavy heart: Cork (left) left Chelsea after 14 years at Stamford Bridge

Rafa Benitez urges Chelsea to catch Manchester City ahead of Southampton visit

Get City! Benitez urges Chelsea to reel in champions for second spot and forget about Tottenham and Arsenal

PUBLISHED:

13:00 GMT, 28 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 28 March 2013

Rafa Benitez insists Chelsea won't be looking over their shoulders and instead believes Manchester City can be caught in the final games of the season.

The Blues are four points adrift of City ahead of their trip to Southampton on Saturday.

Southampton meanwhile are engrossed in their survival battle. four points above the drop, with just nine games of the season remaining.

Strike: Fernando Torres and Demba Ba train ahead of Chelsea's Easter Saturday clash against Southampton

Strike: Fernando Torres and Demba Ba train ahead of Chelsea's Easter Saturday clash against Southampton

'I would like to see us reduce the
gap,' said Benitez. 'They (City) will be concerned like we are with
Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton.

'The
main things are that you are a team. We are playing very good football,
so if you keep the momentum going I won't be worried about the other
teams but watching Manchester City.'

The Chelsea manager confirmed that captain John Terry would be available for selection this weekend.

Case for the defence: John Terry, seen here with David Luiz, has impressed manager Rafa Benitez

Case for the defence: John Terry, seen here with David Luiz, has impressed manager Rafa Benitez

'He has been training and doing well.
I am very pleased with him,' Benitez added. 'He is training every day
and improving his fitness.

'But we’ve got nine games in four days, he can’t play every game. That goes for all the players.'

Fernando Torres was among the Chelsea players left behind in international week after he missed out on selection to the Spain squad for their qualifiers against Finland and France.

'He has been training harder,' said Benitez. 'Spain has a lot of good players so it’s normal he can be left out of the list.

'He has been working very hard. Not just Fernando, but all the players want to prove themselves. Strikers want to score goals, but for me it is also what he does for the team.'

More follows…

Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs and lows in sport

Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs (and lows) since the micro-blogging site changed the way we interact with sports stars

Olympics.
267,200 tweets per minute after Juan Mata scored for Spain in the Euro 2012 final victory Italy.
13.7m tweets during the Super Bowl when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17.
184,535 tweets per minute when Fernando
Torres equalised against Barcelona to send Chelsea heading towards the
2012 Champions League final.

Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets


Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets

Seven Twitter controversies

Joey Barton v Dietmaar Hamann

Joey Barton seems to be ranting and raving every hour of every day, giving his outspoken opinions on everything from The FA to the Israel-Palestine dispute. But his most controversial exchange came when a row erupted with Dietmaar Hamann, after Barton tweeted about QPR’s attempt to hijack Newcastle’s bid for Loic Remy in the January transfer window.

Barton was chided by Hamann for getting involved in ‘club politics’ and he responded viciously with a string of insults and allegations about the former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City player. The pair hammered out a total of over 50 messages and Barton repeatedly told Hamann, 39, to get his ‘life in order’ and claimed the German was unprofessional.

The volatile midfielder also made reference to a gambling problem which Hamann revealed he had, in February 2012, and his family life.

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including with former team-mate Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Ashley Cole v Rio Ferdinand

After Ashley Cole reportedly gave court evidence defending Chelsea team-mate John Terry against allegations of racism towards Anton Ferdinand last summer, Rio Ferdinand, disappointed by the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict sent a tweet suggesting that Ashley Cole was a ‘Choc ice’.

Rio was subsequently fined by The FA but the controversy re-emerged in December when Ferdinand was the was left bleeding after being hit in the face with a two pence coin as he celebrated Manchester United’s winning goal against Manchester City at Eastlands.

The family of Ashley Cole took to Facebook to declare their pleasure in seeing Ferdinand hurt, with the Chelsea star’s brother Matthew is said to have posted on Facebook: ‘So happy Rio got hit in the face today when he tried to give it kissing his badge!! Straight in the eye!! Made my day.’ Cole’s mother Sue later added her own comment: ‘Give the fan that threw it a medal!!’

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Ashley Cole slams The FA

Ashley Cole was fined 90,000 after admitting a Football Association charge in relation to foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter.

The Chelsea and England full-back labelled the FA a 'bunch of t***s' on the social networking site after an independent regulatory commission of the governing body investigating the John Terry racial abuse case had cast doubt on Cole's evidence.

His comments were swiftly removed but the FA reacted quickly and charged Cole, whose furious outburst was retweeted more than 19,000 times and provoked large condemnation from the footballing world.

Referee Mark Halsey receives Death Threats

Referee Mark Halsey called the police in over sick Twitter taunts following his handling of the explosive clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

A number of tweets referred to Halsey's well-known battle against cancer and sickeningly referred to his wife, Michelle, who has also been fighting the disease.

Two of the most offensive comments came from a John Wareing who posted ‘I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and dies’ (@johnwareing1) and a John Hughes who tweeted ‘Mark Halsey should’ve died of cancer’ (@lfcjohn259).

Within minutes of the game finishing in a 2-1 defeat for Liverpool, messages were being posted on social media websites following a number of controversial refereeing decisions including a first-half red card for Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey for a rash tackle on United defender Jonny Evans.

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

10 Year Old Boy 'blacks up' as El Hadji Diouf

A ten-year-old Leeds United fan became embroiled in an online race row after he blacked up to pose with his hero El Hadji Diouf.

The child posted a series of pictures on his Twitter account provoking a backlash from users who said he was racist.

But the primary school child said he did not realise it would be offensive and did it as a tribute to his footballing hero. The boy’s father was forced to take to his son’s Twitter account to defend him from accusations of racism.

He wrote: 'I want to apologise if (my son) dressing up has caused offence.'

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player - Diouf

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player – Diouf

Ryan Babel Mocks up Howard Webb in a Man United shirt

In January 2011, Liverpool winger Ryan Babel became the first professional footballer to be censured for comments made on the social networking site Twitter after the Football Association fined the Dutch international 10,000 for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt.

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

Carlton Cole Fined for Anti-Immigration tweets

Carlton Cole was fined 20,000 by the FA for his Twitter comments during England’s match against Ghana in March 2011.

Cole tweeted: ‘Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha. The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face w/ the St. George’s flag!’

He later deleted the tweet and said it was a ‘joke’.

Bobby Barnes, deputy chief executive of the PFA, said: ‘The commission fully accepted the mitigation put forward on Carlton’s behalf and his apology for any offence caused, however unintentionally.

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'