Chelsea news

Torres praises outgoing Rafa

May 26, 2013
By ESPN staff

Fernando Torres insists Rafa Benitez made Chelsea a better team during his tumultuous tenure at Stamford Bridge.

Benitez's reign at Chelsea ended with a 5-3 defeat to Manchester City in a post-season friendly at Yankee Stadium, New York on Saturday.

The Spaniard endured a challenging time since taking over from Roberto Di Matteo, but earned Champions League qualification for next season and Europa League glory. Compatriot Torres believes that is enough to deserve praise.

"He came in in a difficult situation, personally, for him with the reaction of the fans and the team were not doing well at the time.

"It takes a bit of time to do better but after that, at the end of the season, the team was much better than at the beginning. He has helped the team, the team has been good. The players are better.

"I think he came to do a job and he did. He must be happy because he won a trophy with Chelsea."

Meanwhile, City's Gareth Barry, who scored the opening goal in the friendly, said: "It was a great spectacle and the supporters turned out in great numbers again. It was about something other than the result. We've had a great few days.

"Fans here and in St Louis have watched two great games with lots of goals and lots of attacking football. I'm not sure our defensive coach will be too happy but it is great to see games like that.

"It is a massive step for Manchester City to get involved with a club in the MLS. Nothing like that has been done before. It's exciting times for the club."