The signing of Fernando Torres sent the Vicente Calderon and its faithful on a roller-coaster of emotion. "The Kid" had finally returned and with many in the media stating it was simply a marketing move, Torres and his apologists were in for a rough ride filled with sneery comments and snide judgements.
Side Lowe took part in a particularly memorable chat with some of ESPN’s panelists, during which they laughed at Lowe for suggesting that Torres would be a success on his return to Spain. "You have to redefine success", Lowe said, pointing out that at 30 years of age on his return to his hometown team, there were other ways of defining Fernando Torres as a success.
Since his return, Torres has landed four goals in different competitions and has looked vey lively especially in the bigger games against Real Madrid and Barcelona.
When he landed in Madrid for his second stint in red and white, Diego Simeone’s assistant German Burgos issued a statement that said the Torres deal was not a marketing ploy and it was not used as anything other than a reinforcement of the squad. Torres was bought to do a specific job and he has done that job admirably.
Torres seems to be growing stronger as Griezmann and particularly Mandzukic seem to be growing weary as the season drags on. Atletico looked sharper against Getafe on the attack than they have lately even with a full compliment of players.
Prior to his arrival, there seemed to be a sense that Torres was the village idiot and people had forgotten that he still had something to offer. He is certainly proving that there are other definitions of success.
The Home Straight
With Torres having endured a torrid time at the end of his spell at Chelsea and having suffered an equally traumatic time at AC Milan, he has regained the fighting spirit that he had as a youngster at Atletico Madrid and Liverpool.
With the help of Diego Simeone’s man management and rotation which allows him to recover and enter games in order to make an impact, he will prove important for Atletico Madrid during the run-in. With no international duty to report for and having bagged a goal against Getafe early on, Torres will be perhaps looking for more playing time. With Mario Mandzukic proving somewhat difficult to deal with in the dressing room, Torres is the perfect player to be called upon when you need a role model.
As Sid Lowe said, "we have to redefine success". Torres has scored goals, looked lively, ran the lines, offered himself as a target man and thrown himself around in the robust nature that Simeone asks of all his players. That’s the kind of success we were looking for.