April 25, 2013
Torres plans to see out contract
Fernando Torres hopes to fire Chelsea to Europa League glory and further trophies as part of an exciting young team.
The 29-year-old Spain striker has struggled to reach the heights he scaled at Liverpool prior to his £50million move to Stamford Bridge in January 2011.
Torres netted 81 goals in 142 games for Liverpool, but his confidence spiralled in a comparatively barren start to his Blues career, which has regularly seen suggestions Roman Abramovich is running out of patience with his biggest on-field investment and is prepared to cut his losses.
Yet the World Cup winner appears to be enjoying the Europa League, netting four times in the last three matches to help Chelsea to Thursday's semi-final first leg at Basle, and he envisages a long and successful spell in west London alongside the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, David Luiz and Oscar.
"I have many things still to give to this club,'' Torres said. "I have three more years contract so I'm expecting to stay at least three years.
"We won the Champions League last season. Hopefully we can win the Europa League this one. It is our priority as well as finishing in the top four.
"We want to go back to the Champions League next season and keep winning trophies.
"I think we have a great squad and a young squad to build on.
"We are sure that we are a great team and we want to show everyone. I would like to be involved.''
Torres is also thriving again - albeit in fits and starts - under Rafael Benitez, the man who took him from Atletico Madrid to Liverpool and now Chelsea's interim boss.
His compatriot's arrival coincided with seven goals in six games, but then Torres managed just one goal - against League One Brentford - prior to his strike against Steaua in the Europa League last 16.
"All of the team is enjoying this competition,'' said Torres, who has scored 12 of his 19 goals this season since Benitez's arrival.
"To be out of the Champions League was a very disappointing time for us but we changed our minds and started thinking about the Europa League.
"It is one of the most important targets for us this season.
"We are showing everyone who were talking about Chelsea not caring about the Europa League this it is not true.
"We are already in the semi-finals and we want to go through.
"The team is doing a really good performance so it is easy for the striker to score goals when the team is doing well.''
Basle head coach Murat Yakin is unfazed by facing Chelsea and has urged his players to achieve more in their remarkable Europa League campaign.
The former Switzerland international took charge in October with Basle struggling, but has masterminded a renaissance which sees his side tackling last season's Champions League winners in the Europa League semi-finals, having overcome Tottenham in the quarter-finals.
Now the target is the May 15 Amsterdam final.
Yakin said: "I'm not a dreamer, I'm not dreaming. I'm very realistic. We're talking about reaching the final here.
"When I started we were in the very last spot in our group.
"From there I presented my vision that I had to the team and the vision that I had to maybe reach the final even in Amsterdam.
"The team grew in this competition, showed great performances, at home especially. It sets up a good advantage for the second leg then.
"We need one great game and maybe one okay game to maybe even make it to the final.
"It's a semi-final tomorrow. They can even achieve more."