Ferran Torres’ signing for Manchester City from Valencia, soon to be made official, puts an end to rumors of the past few months linking him to nearly every big club in all of the biggest leagues.
He has received offers from Juventus, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund – and has received calls from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester United – but City are close to finalizing a deal estimated at around 25 million euros (22.6 million pounds sterling) plus 12 million euros (10.9 million pounds) in extras.
Now is the time for the 20-year-old – a prodigiously talented and super-fast winger – to seek his fortune elsewhere in the football world.
A good deal for Man City?
Valencia wanted a lot more for the youngster but were aware he could have left for free in a year – Manchester City got a good deal.
When I met him last week in Valencia, I asked him if he was learning languages.
“Yes, you always have to learn languages because you never know where football will take you tomorrow … but above all I am learning English, because English is essential no matter what region of the world you are in” , did he declare.
Torres is so highly rated that many at the club believed that a new Valencia side could be built around him. But, as always seems to happen in Valencia, politics and finance intervened.
As contract negotiations dragged on, the club decided not to take the risk and agreed to a transfer fee instead.
Still, Torres remains loyal to both the club and his hometown of Foios, around 10km north of Valencia’s home in Mestalla.
Just as he will have no criticism of Foios – “I was brought up there, I have all my friends there and the truth is, I really feel at home there” – nor will he hear a word against the club he joined at age seven.
He remembers the first time he put on the Valencia kit just before going to train as a child.
“I remember putting on the shirt and then going into the bathroom looking at myself almost in a daze,” he says.
“I was just wearing the shirt and my underpants and I was just looking at the shirt and like, ‘What am I doing here? How did I get here? It was a special moment.
“At the end of the day, it’s the team from my country and the team that gave me everything. ”
But now Torres knows the time has come to leave the club he has supported all his life.
He said: “As a player I see myself as ambitious, someone who wants to win, win, win and… as time goes by and you feel more prepared then you want to come under. bigger challenges, experience a change of environment Yes, I think I’m ready to do it.
“On the inside, I always think I’m the best, that I want to be the best and that I work to try to be the best. If you don’t believe yourself to be the best, then no one ever will. believe you are. ”
How did Torres get here?
His talent and speed were evident to everyone from the moment he joined the club as a boy.
He rose through the ranks and, just as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had done before him, spent most of his time playing in teams and leagues with much taller youngsters – and almost always at least two years old. more than him.
“I suffered because of the great physical differences that existed,” he says. “I was tiny compared to some of the people I could see fully formed and struggled to the point of leaving crying.
“Taking on challenges at 14 or 15 against strong men of 17 and 18 was difficult for me. This feeling of not being able to win, of not being able to do what I wanted was something that I hard to take in. ”
He received news of his inclusion in Valencia’s first team while playing for Spain at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup in India. On December 16 that year, he became the first person born in the 2000s to play in La Liga as he made his league debut against Eibar.
What are its main strengths?
Torres’ play is based on blazing speed, superb close control and unpredictability of attack. A modern day winger – he can also play indoors – he has a big change of pace, is very powerful, stable with the ball at his feet and strong in the air.
Comparisons are already made with a young Cristiano Ronaldo, a player he cites as his main reference, “not only because of the way he plays his football but also because of the way he moves away from football”. He added: “He is worthy of admiration and I would like to follow in his footsteps. ”
He’s not the finished article yet, but he’s as close as it gets for such a youngster and has been described by Valencia academy recruiting director Jose Gimenez as ‘the complete player’.
Perhaps his greatest asset is his football instinct. “More than a conscious understanding, what I do I do instinctively,” he says. “If by that you mean understand then I guess so, although I never really think I knew what I’m going to do, but rather just did then.” “
How is he off the pitch?
Torres will be sorely missed at Valencia not only by the team but also by the fans who adore him as one of their own.
“For a lot of fans you are a reference and they also spend their time having their picture taken with you and that should also be respected and therefore I spend the time necessary to be with them,” he said.
Until recently, Torres still lived with his father in Foios, although he has since bought himself an apartment in Valencia. The winger remembers a childhood plowing the ground in his grandfather’s orchard, which he now realizes was another part of his upbringing.
“At the end of the day, it’s the little things that we must never lose, because while it has nothing to do directly with football, it has helped me, at least, to become the type of person that I am, ”he told me.
His closest friends call him Ferri; Torres said of them, “I mostly have four friends that I’ve had my whole life and do pretty much everything with, and the point is, we always keep in touch with each other.
“When I do things wrong they tell me, and when I do well they are there to congratulate me, but more than anything else I am very grateful to them when they tell me about the things I did wrong. .
He is also very fond of his two dogs, an 11 year old Podenco Andaluz named Minnie and a 12 year old Czechoslovakian wolfhound named Lluna.
“For my sister and I, they are everything. In fact, we couldn’t live without them. They lived it all with me. Everything we talked about, they experienced it with me, ”he added.
There is currently no talk of romance for Torres. The main woman in his life today is his sister Arantxa, six years his senior.
Torres said: “With my sister it’s true that I’m much more open. With her, I express much more what I am thinking at this precise moment. She is my confidante.
“She went through some very difficult and complex times and she faced them and went through them. She has her own career, her master’s degree and that has great merit. She has always been super protective of me.
“I think the reason I get along with her so well is that she knows how to stay away, not choke me, and I know if I want something I can go see her.”
“She will never ask me the question, but when I have doubts about anything or any type of problem, the first person I always go to is her.”
“We have a tattoo on our ankles – an anchor – with the words ‘I refuse to sink’. It’s because we’ve been through tough times together and we’ve always been through them and moved forward. ”
I asked him: why is the tattoo in English?
“I don’t know,” he replied. “I think it’s better in English. “