Friday, March 6, 2009

Torres : I will not quit Liverpool even if Rafa does

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is confident he will be fit for the club's crucial clashes in Europe and at home in the next ten days.

The Reds take on Real Madrid in the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie looking to progress with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg at the Bernabeu, and then face Manchester United in the Premier League in a match they have to win to have any hope of catching their bitter north-west rivals.

Torres has not played since he suffered an ankle injury in that Madrid victory, but revealed tonight he is optimistic about returning next week.

"I hope to be available for both of the matches because they will be two great games," he said in a webchat on his personal site. "The ankle injury has been giving me some trouble and the recovery process is taking longer than I hoped.

"However, I am quite optimistic that I will be ready for the match versus Real Madrid, and if the ankle holds out, I will also be at Old Trafford."

Torres does not accept the claim that his injury problems this season have cost Liverpool their chance of winning the Premier League title, adding: "I don't think that I'm to blame for the injuries, it forms part of the game. I have suffered three muscular injuries during the first three months of the competition, and now I have picked up an ankle injury.

"I don't think that my injury should be considered as a reason for Liverpool not winning the league. Although following a couple of poor results we have lost touch with Manchester United at the top, the team has done well this season. The league though is still alive, but Man United are looking strong and they are not dropping points."

The Spain forward insisted his own future at Anfield was not tied to that of manager and compatriot Rafael Benitez, who is yet to sign a new deal with Liverpool.

"My future is tied with Liverpool, because I still have four years left to run on my contract," he added. "Therefore, should Rafa leave, I will stay on and fulfil my contract with the club. My wish is that Rafa extends his contract with Liverpool. I cannot think about how a possible departure might affect me, because it hasn't happened yet, and I don't like wasting time thinking about ifs and buts."

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