To put Fernando Torres' recent form into perspective, we turn to Mister Chip's twitter account. Shortly after he headed Atletico in front in a game about a month ago against Athletic Club, Mister Chip told us, "@Torres has scored in five consecutive games for the first time in his entire career."
The same Fernando Torres who scored 82 goals in 214 appearances during his initial spell at Atletico Madrid and landed 65 in 102 during his time on Merseyside. He has also won two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain accumulating 38 more goals in 110 as a striker for La Roja.
It is by no means a shabby career and yet he has hit a streak of form that previous iterations of Fernando Torres could not eclipse. He has hit his stride at his hometown club and that type of confidence should be utilised by Vicente del Bosque as Spain look to retain their European Championships trophy.
Before discussing the competition for a seat on Spain's flight to France, we will talk about the physicality, his humble personality and the almost zen-like atmosphere around the player. In bringing Fernando Torres, you get everything Diego Costa can in terms of physicality without the histrionics. He is known as a humble, hard working teammate who could prove to be Alvaro Morata's muse.
Fernando Torres has learned a valuable lesson since his form started to deteriorate during his time at Chelsea. What Torres learned is that the skill and ability he worked so hard to harness that was noticed by Manual Brinas when he was just 11 is fleeting and does not last forever.
Maybe, it all came a little too easy for Torres? Debut with his boyhood club at 17, captain two years later and then one big move after another where the fans sang his name like he was one of their own. Since returning to the Calderon, scoring his 100th goal and reeling back the years he will be as adamant as ever to re-announce himself on the global stage, and to prove the people wrong who laughed off claims that he could be good again.
Competition? What competition?
As Torres spent sleepless nights dreaming of his 100th goal in red and white, Vicente del Bosque was busy dreaming about Pedro, Nolito and Diego Costa. Since that faithful game against Eibar that helped move Torres into prestigious territory beyond the cliche at Atletico Madrid, all three have gone cold for different reasons.
Nolito suffered a hamstring injury and has only scored four in 14 since his return, the only call-up Pedro deserves is when his name is called for last boarding on his one way red-eye flight out of London and Diego Costa can not be tamed. It's as simple as that. Even Aritz Aduriz has had a dip in form, only scoring once in seven games since March including some injury trouble along the way.
Fernando Torres offers a little bit of everything these strikers offer and while it is not wise to return to a well that appears to have run dry, he has won two European Championships and a World Cup with his country. He knows a thing or two when it comes to international competition.
Spain are lightweight in many areas of the field, from their probable first choice goalkeeper in David de Gea all the way through Jordi Alba and Andrés Iniesta in the middle of the field. By choosing Pedro or Nolito over Torres, you are sacrificing a technical finisher with plenty of aggression and a dash of speed to a side who might need it in tougher games.
No longer are Spain capable of keeping possession wholesale, and beating teams without shipping a tackle. They must evolve into a team that can beat you by keeping possession, or playing route one. There is no catch-all tactic that can guarantee success and it's time Torres was brought back into the fold to add a little steel, and with his new found finishing and contribution to build-up, Spain and Vinny del Bosque could do a lot worse.