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 tomorrow 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.
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,” Torres said.
“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.
“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 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.
“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.”
Like Torres Steven Gerrard feels Liverpool are beginning to get their act together.
The Anfield skipper accepts Wednesday night’s disjointed 1-0 home win over minnows Debrecen in their opening Champions League group E match was below their usual standards.
But Gerrard insists Liverpool are beginning to get that winning look about them.
“The title race seems to be becoming a big six, and at the weekend we have the Manchester derby while Chelsea play Tottenham. So something will have to give,’’ he said.
“So hopefully we can get a good win at West Ham, concentrate on our own performance and pray the results will fall in our favour by the end of the weekend.
“We are slowly getting back to where we want to be with three wins on the spin and hopefully another at West Ham.
“It is still very early, but it was important that we recovered from that poor start. This is only the beginning for us.’’
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