Team-mate backs striker

Iniesta defends goal-shy Torres

March 27, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Andres Iniesta has leapt to the defence of Spain team-mate Fernando Torres after the goal-shy £50 million striker drew another blank against the Czech Republic.

Fernando Torres
GettyImagesFernando Torres: Last scored for Spain in June 2010 during a friendly against Poland.

Torres has failed to score since his big-money move from Liverpool to Chelsea in January and was relegated to the bench for international duty on Friday.

Spain registered a hard-fought 2-1 win with David Villa grabbing two second-half goals to become his country's record goalscorer. Torres was introduced at half-time and, although he failed to register, Iniesta believes the former Atletico Madrid man contributed in other ways.

He said: "Fernando is doing really well. It's clear that strikers live to score, but in Granada he gave us plenty of things which people don't see such as hard work, helping out in defence and allowing others the space to play. He does work which is not noticed, but it is very fundamental for the team.

"As for the goals, I think it's only a matter of time. He has always scored and he will continue doing so and therefore there are no problems.''

Torres' former Liverpool team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa, now at Real Madrid, added: "Fernando has been playing at the top level for many years and it's not the first time he has been through a bad patch in front of goal.

"But when you are as good as him you don't need to worry. He needs to keep doing his job and the goals will come.''