Saturday, January 10, 2009

Torres eyes place in Liverpool history books

Fernando Torres has admitted a burning desire to become part of a legendary generation at Liverpool by helping the club win its first English league title for nineteen years this season.

The Spain forward, who returned from a six-week hamstring injury lay-off by scoring in the 2-0 FA Cup third round victory at Preston last weekend, is eyeing a return to the starting line-up for the Premier League leaders at Stoke on Saturday.

Torres played a key role as Spain ended a 44-year wait for major silverware at Euro 2008 and the former Atletico Madrid striker admits he wants to enjoy that feeling of ecstasy all over again at Anfield this year.

He said: "Having won the European Championships with Spain, I have experienced what it is like to be part of a generation of players that will never be forgotten.

"And I think that the same could be said of this Liverpool team if we can win the league. If we can do it, we will be remembered for many years in the hearts of Liverpool fans

"We have a solid unit that knows how to win games playing our way and we have beaten the big teams without me and, on occasions, without Steven Gerrard, like the game against Manchester United.

"I think that was a positive for the team as a whole. It illustrated that importance of every player in the squad.

"We are working towards the same goal of ensuring that Liverpool win the Premier League.

"If we are able to achieve this it will have been a joint effort - no one player will take the most credit. It is a group effort."

Liverpool have won seven out of ten games away from Anfield in the Premier League this season, but a draw at home to Stoke earlier in the campaign highlighted their difficulties in killing teams off on home turf.

But Brazilian midfielder Lucas Leiva is hopeful that Benitez's team can make amends by claiming all three points at Stoke.

Lucas said: "We had a difficult game against Stoke at Anfield when we could only draw, which was very frustrating. Hopefully we will have more space on Saturday to pass the ball well and create more chances and put them away.

"They are near the bottom of the table, so they will be trying to get the points, but we will be ready for the game and we know what we have to do."

Stoke midfielder Salif Diao is battling to overcome a calf strain in time to face Liverpool, but the Senegal midfielder admits he is determined to line up against his former club.

Diao said: "I have a 50/50 chance. I enjoyed my time at Liverpool, but in the last few years I never really felt I was wanted. It was a massive frustration.

"I wouldn't say I have something to prove, but it is always good to show your quality when playing against your former team.

"At the end of our game at Liverpool, I went to all our lads to say thank you to them.

"Hopefully we can get something on Saturday, but this isn't a big game just because it is Liverpool. All the games are massive for us."

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