Liverpool star Fernando Torres vows to halt Manchester United dominance
17 September 2009 06:07
Fernando Torres is sure the English top flight is still the world's greatest league - and is determined to help Liverpool become its champions once again.
The Reds travel to West Ham in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday as their quest continues to bring home the trophy that has eluded them for almost 20 years.
The division has changed beyond recognition since the last time Liverpool were crowned champions in 1990, with the influx of superstar foreigners like Spanish striker Torres placing it in the eyes of many above any other leagues across the globe.
Fernando Torres (right)
A step ahead: Fernando Torres (right) has become a Liverpool hero since joining from Spain
Such feeling has cooled somewhat after a summer which has seen the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso arrive in Spain to boost the Primera Division's box office appeal.
But for Torres, who spent 12 years playing in his homeland with Atletico Madrid, there is no doubt that England is the place to be.
"As a competition it is the best one," said Torres. "When you are talking about organisation, respect, and having all the stadiums full every weekend, it is really nice to see that.
"In Spain they have some of the better players in the world, but as a competition, it is not as big as the Premier League.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo
Star performer: Real Madrid may have lured Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Premier League is still No 1, says Torres
"I was playing in Spain, and I can tell you honestly, the Premier League is a much better competition."
Liverpool will be hoping for success both at home and abroad this year, but with the drought in league success ongoing and the prospect lurking of Manchester United overtaking the Reds' record all-time haul of 18 titles, Torres admits that the Premier League may have to take priority.
"We know that for the fans, for the club and for the majority of the players, the Premier League is a fantastic competition and we have had plenty of years not winning it, so maybe it is the priority," he said.
"We don't feel the pressure, but we know it would not be the best for Liverpool fans to see Manchester United with more English titles than us.
"But I think we are on our way, we are doing everything in our power to win trophies and we will see what happens at the end of the season."
The Spain striker said he was looking forward to giving the fans something to celebrate.
"I think the supporters cannot imagine what it would be like," Torres added. "I saw when Liverpool won the Champions League, all the people around the city, and I remember when Spain won the European Championship and millions of people were in the street. I think it will be something similar.
"Twenty years with no trophy in the Premier League is a long time, so it is very exciting for all of us."
Liverpool did not make the best start in their mission, suffering two defeats in their opening three league games.
But recent victories over Bolton and Burnley, along with a winning start this week in the Champions League against Debrecen, has given the side some momentum and Torres believes they are heading in the right direction.
Fernando Torres and Yossi Benayoun celebrate with Dirk Kuyt
It's a team gain: Torres and Yossi Benayoun celebrate with Kuyt
"We are recovering the confidence now after winning three games in a row," he said.
"We have to keep on like this, but also improve, and keep working hard because there are difficult games coming.
"But we are on our way. There are some players injured and they will come back soon to help the team, but we don't have time to think in terms of the recovery of players and improving then - we have to win now.
"If we lose points in the coming weeks it will be very difficult to stay at the top come January and February."
Somebody likely to play a key role in the weeks to come is midfielder Lucas, who has been given a run of starts since Alonso's departure and who Torres believes is becoming an integral part of the first XI.
"He is an international from Brazil, and this is not easy," Torres said. "He is a fantastic player and he has to make a step forward now because Xabi has gone.
"He has the responsibility to become an important player for Liverpool and he has a real chance this season.
"He is playing in almost every game and we have real confidence in him.
"I am sure that he will get better in the future because he is still young. I hope he can be one of the best players for us this season."