Fernando Torres claims he has rediscovered what it means to pull on the Spain national shirt.
Torres has admitted a tough 18 months at Chelsea saw him fall out of love with the game, but he showed flashes of quality towards the end of the season and demonstrated his class with two goals in Spain’s win over Ireland.
It was a sizzling display from Torres who is primed to start Spain’s final Group C clash with Croatia, but he is taking nothing for granted having come through a torrid spell in his career.
“(Spain coach, Vicente) Del Bosque phoned me before dropping me for the Venezuela friendly and I fully understood,” Torres said. “I had lost some of my love for being at work. I had stopped setting an example to younger players, which is something I was taught to do at Atletico Madrid.
“Being picked for Spain had become a habit. Now it is a prize again.”
Spain will head into their final group game brimming with confidence. Torres said: “I was pleased with my personal performance and very happy to have scored but I’m mainly happy because the team won.
“We’re confident now because we feel as strong as ever, because we played well. We have to keep playing like this.”