Torres: I hated being called 'El Nino'… people were just too lazy to learn my name
11:43 GMT, 14 November 2012
Fernando Torres has revealed he hated the nickname ‘El Nino’ and always found it insulting that team-mates and supporters could not be bothered to learn his name.
The Chelsea striker, who was prolific in the Barclays Premier League when he first arrived at Liverpool from Atletico Madrid, has revealed nobody wanted to talk to him because they felt threatened.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official website, Torres said: ‘It’s not easy to come somewhere new and have to find your place. You might feel someone doesn’t like you or you might need to find new friends, it’s not easy and I don’t like this kind of thing. It’s not easy, so you want to protect the players who are alone.
Lonely: Fernando Torres (left) struggled when he came to England
Fernando Torres and Juan Mata may be
best of friends, but that doesn’t mean the former Liverpool striker
wants to share the changing room with him!
‘Yes. I just want to move my
locker,’ Torres said. ‘It’s not so bad because I want him next to me,
but I have to be on top of him all the time because it’s a mess. It’s a
mess. I don’t know if I can describe it.
'There are magazines, letters,
pictures, clothes, creams, everything, he cannot open the door. If he
did it would make a bigger mess.’
‘It’s what I learned when I was 16 and arrived in Atletico’s dressing room, nobody wanted to talk to me because they were threatened. They called me “El Nino” because nobody knew my name. I didn’t like it and it shouldn’t be like that, but dressing rooms are very complicated with players coming from different parts of the world and with different roles.
‘I was captain in Atletico at 19, playing in the same team as Demetrio Albertini who won three Champions Leagues and Sergi Barjuan from Barcelona, who had won everything, and they were 32, 33.
‘I was a kid as captain, so I wasn’t the real captain, just a kid learning from them. I wore the armband but they were the leaders and I learned a lot from them.
‘I remember when I first came to Liverpool, Pepe Reina helped with everything and he made it easy for me. When I was Atletico Madrid captain I tried to help everyone. These are the basics in football, you need to create an atmosphere and try to create a group of friends. It’s not easy and it doesn’t always happen but you have to try.’
Chelsea are building something of a Spanish mafia at Stamford Bridge, with Torres joined by Oriol Romeu, Juan Mata and most recently Cesar Azpilicueta.
Best of friends: Torres and Juan Mata (left) are now team-mates at Chelsea
But Torres insists he is not in charge!
‘No, I am not the father figure! You have all the things you learned in your head that you can use for the good of the team, and that’s what I do here, but I don’t like to be a leader, maybe an example as someone to follow if you like.
‘We are all young still, and friends. I have been playing with Juan in the national team since the Confederations Cup in 2009, and since then we have been friends. I was so happy when he came here, and we have helped Oriol and now Azpi to settle. There are also some staff, I think there are seven of us in total in the dressing room, so it makes it easier for the new guys to have people here helping them.
‘There is no leader who has to talk for the others. Helping each other is a job we should do, it’s not a job Juan has to thank me for.
Glory days: Torres has yet to recapture his Liverpool form
‘(Mata and I) go out to dinner sometimes or meet up at each other’s homes to watch TV shows we all follow,’ Torres confirms. ‘When you’re in a new city you try to be next to people you know, and then after that you make your own friends but we can all join together too.
‘Football is a team sport and not an individual sport. We win as a team and every individual is better if we are part of the team,’ he stresses. ‘If we win trophies we have the chance to win individual awards because it comes with the team targets.
‘If we win the Champions League, everyone is a better, more recognised player, but if you win an individual award and nothing with your team, it means nothing. You have to win with the team, and for the team.
‘In your life you go through a difficult situation or a very good situation and you have different moods, but you learn things from your experiences.’