The black eye was a legacy of a stray elbow on international duty last week, and it acts as a lasting reminder to Fernando Torres of why he feels so at home in the Barclays Premier League.
English football's reputation for fair play may have come under scrutiny in recent weeks, but Torres insists it remains a model for the rest of the world.
Sporting a shiner at the launch of his autobiography, Torres: El Ni?My Story, Liverpool's record £21million signing summed up the Premier League's enduring appeal by saying: 'I get kicked a lot here, but at least they do it honestly.'
It is a philosophy that endeared him to John Terry two seasons ago, when the Chelsea skipper emerged from a bruising encounter at Anfield and saluted Liverpool's new arrival for giving as good as he got, rather than bleating about any strong-arm tactics.
'All teams want to win, but here in England, players are very honest,' said Torres. 'It is more physical here than in Spain, but that honesty really comes across. I got this black eye playing for Spain and it is the case that in some other leagues they try to catch you with their elbows and stuff like that.
No pain, no gain: Torres feels at home in the Barclays Premier League
'It is a physical league here, but you cannot let frustration get the better of you if you are kicked.
'Reading adopted an aggressive approach against me in the Carling Cup and I answered with a hat-trick. Scoring is always the best form of retaliation.'
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