In his first press conference since his dramatic deadline day move to Chelsea, former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres explained his £50m move to London.
The Spaniard admitted that he could wait no longer for Liverpool to return to the perch of English football, and also spoke of his hope that the Anfield faithful would understand, eventually, that he joined Chelsea with his career in mind.
That could be high hopes seeing as how Liverpool fans burned Torres' replica shirt outside the Liverpool training ground after news reached their ears that the Spaniard had agreed to switch clubs. But Torres thanked the Liverpool fans and reasserted his belief that they would come to accept his decision in retrospect when they understand that he needed to move to a club that matched his ambition.
He said, I only have good things to say about the Liverpool people and the Liverpool supporters. They made me feel really good there, and I have had three-and-a-half fantastic seasons there. I understand they will be angry and they will not understand my decision. I am sure in a few days, a few weeks or maybe not, I would like to explain to them all the reasons, but I would like to start talking about the future now. Thanks to them, thanks very much.
I understand, because I was an Atletico Madrid fan, and when some top players left the club I did not understand. But with time I could understand they did the best for themselves, their families and their careers.
So I am not asking them (Liverpool fans) to understand me, but I am sure with time they will see what I did there, and they will be fair, or they will be thinking a different way to they are thinking now. Football is like this - this is the life. The majority of Liverpool fans are not thinking like the ones you can see on the TV.
Torres admitted that the Liverpool he left was not the same as the Liverpool he joined. In 2007, when Rafa Benitez signed the Spaniard from Atletico Madrid for £20m, Liverpool were runners-up in the Champions League, and were runners-up in the League in the 2008-09 season. However, ownership troubles trickled down to the performance on the pitch and important players like such as Xabi Alonso left the club.
From then on, Liverpool were in decline, and despite the ownership change earlier this season and a seemingly positive revival already on the ascendancy, Torres feels he had ran out of time at Liverpool.
Things had changed a lot in the last year, Torres said. I think they have great ambition and they are doing the right things to get back but it will take time. I didn't have that time.
Torres also spoke about his craving for trophies at club level, having won the pinnacle at International level earlier this year, after claiming the Euro 2008. He believes Chelsea are the right team to join and admitted his priority was the Champions League, which coincidentally is also the priority of Chelsea and their Russian owner Roman Abramovich.
He said, The Champions League is the main thing. I know the ambition this club has about winning the Champions League, and it is the same ambition that I have. I think the ambition of this team is to keep winning trophies every year, so I have the same motivation. Talking about that, we are all thinking the same thing.
The Spaniard also admitted that he had made his decision to leave ten to 12 days before the transfer window closed that when Chelsea came calling, he had asked the club permission to leave.
As soon as I knew that Liverpool and Chelsea were talking about that, I told them that the decision was made. I was the first one to go to the manager and tell them.
Torres also said he wouldn't celebrate if he scores against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. However, it isn't clear whether he will start after Carlo Ancelotti said he would leave the decision till late on Sunday.
Fernando is in good condition, Ancelotti said. He is available to play against Liverpool, I don't know if he will start or maybe come on during the game. It is my decision, and I will take the decision before 4pm on Sunday.