Spain striker Fernando Torres wishes he was approaching Euro 2012 on the back of a fine season with Chelsea, but he will be looking to impress against South Korea tonight.
Torres has endured a largely miserable year with Chelsea, highlighted when he was left on the bench for the Champions League final against Bayern Munich — with caretaker boss Roberto Di Matteo preferring Didier Drogba at the Allianz Arena.
The £50 million man can see the advantages of playing fewer games over the campaign than he imagined last summer and is feeling fresh as he bids to help Spain retain their European Championship crown.
“Physically I feel very good and fresh because I haven’t had the drain of so many games as my team-mates,” Torres said.
“I’m hopeful of showing my best to the team. It’s true I would have liked to have played more with Chelsea to be in better playing shape.”
Torres will be hoping a decent showing against South Korea at the Stade de Suisse Wankdorf in Switzerland will enhance his chances of starting up front ahead of Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo for Spain’s first group game against Italy on June 10.
The former Liverpool striker scored the winning goal as Spain won Euro 2008 but put in a series of below par performances at the World Cup two years later after having knee surgery two months prior to the tournament.
He has struggled to regain his form for both club and country thereafter but insists that is now all in the past.
“All players have dreams, but sometimes they are met in a way that we do not expect,” he added. “I wish I had more presence in the national team.
“My injury at the World Cup stopped me from doing better, but the important thing is that eventually everything will go well. I will keep going until the end and hope we are European champions again.”
Meanwhile, Netherlands winger Arjen Robben insists he can cope with his Champions League final heartbreak and has been buoyed by his return to the international fold.
Robben missed an injury-time penalty as Bayern Munich lost on penalties to Chelsea at their Allianz Arena home on May 19. Robben was subsequently jeered by the Bayern fans when the German club played Holland in a friendly three days later.
Speaking ahead of tonight’s friendly clash with Slovakia in Rotterdam, he said: “I am comfortable with the national team and I am focused on the Euros. I think I have proved in the past that I have a lot of mental strength. I promise the fans that we will have a good tournament and I will be there against Denmark on June 9.”
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