Fernando Torres hails Rafael Benitez after the managerís departure from Chelsea
Chelsea forward Fernando Torres praised Rafael Benitez for influencing the club and his career in a positive way. The Span international, who used to play under Rafael Benitez at Liverpool as well, paid tribute to his boss for leading Chelsea to Europa League glory and a top three finish on the Premier League table.
Rafael Benitez came under intense scrutiny from a large section of Chelsea supporters after he succeeded the club’s Champions League winning manager Roberto Di Matteo. Fernando Torres believes the former Anfield boss has done well to keep the club afloat during his seven-month tenure at the club.
“He helped to give the team confidence back after a difficult period in November,” Fernando Torres said in an interview to Chelsea’s official website. “The only thing he wanted was to do his best and to try to help Chelsea to come back from a difficult situation.
“Credit to the players as well because it is not easy to play so many games in a season and especially in the last couple of months, the team has shown more character and as a team.
“We have performed much better than in the beginning of the season when maybe individuality was the key for us. It is something to build up from and I think everyone wishes him (Benitez) all the best now.”
Meanwhile, Fernando Torres ended his season on a high note as well. The £50-million-rated striker from Liverpool hasn’t been able to score a lot of goals under a Chelsea jersey, but he ended his goal drought by scoring in the Europa League final and in the final game of the Premier League season.
“Scoring 22 goals is not bad and everyone is asking for the strikers to score goals,” said Fernando Torres, who scored his first Premier League since December last Sunday. “It is much better than last season but hopefully next season it can be even better next time.
“In the last couple of months, I was not really involved in the Premier League, I was playing more in Europe and in the cups. It was a long time with not scoring but with the goal on Sunday I forget about that and think about next season.”
Fernando Torres believes its hard work that has led Chelsea towards success in the final few weeks of the season. The striker believes Chelsea should feel proud of their achievements this season and start preparing for the next season.
“We deserved to finish in the top three,” Fernando Torres added. “It was not the target in the beginning of the season but it was the main target in the last couple of months, so we are happy to secure third place and we know now we are going to play Champions League again next season.
“We have to learn from what we did badly in this season because everyone wants to play to the end of the Champions League like we did last season, so this is the first step.
“It was a great week for the club, the players, the supporters, everyone and we achieved the two targets we have been fighting for the last couple of months. So we can go on holidays with that job done.”