Well, I mean technically I guess he is – if my information is correct, he has a contract with Chelsea Football Club until the end of the 2016 season. But is he really a Chelsea player?
Fernando Torres was born in Fuenlabrada; a city located roughly 25km away from Atletico Madrid's stadium, the Vicente Calderon Stadium. Fernando adopted Atletico as his boyhood team from an early age as his grandfather also supported Atletico. In 1995 at 11 years of age, Fernando Torres was spotted by scouts from his beloved club and offered a trial which subsequently led to Torres being invited into the clubs youth system.
I can only imagine how that must have felt for him. As much of a cliché as this is, signing for the club you support is the sort of thing that every young (and old) football fan dreams of.
Things went well for him at Atletico and he would make his first team debut on the 27th May 2001 at home against CD Leganes. As a virtually unknown 17 year old fan of the club, there was pretty much no pressure on him to succeed immediately. He'd only have to wait a further week before he got his first goal for the club he loved, and he never looked back.
He went on to score 91 goals in 243 matches for Madrid: that's an average of 2.7 games per goal (GPG), which isn't an earth moving stat but also isn't the worst in the world – our own Man-God Didier Drogba managed an average of 2.2 GPG in his time at Chelsea (157 goals in 341 games).
In the summer of 2006, Chelsea made a bid for Fernando Torres. The offer was accepted by Atletico before Torres himself turned down the opportunity to move to Stamford Bridge and remained in Spain. I'm no psychic wonder but had Torres taken the jump from Madrid to London, I'd guess that he may have found life at Chelsea a little easier to adapt to than he did when he eventually decided to join us in 2011.
Expectations of him would have been significantly lower a) because he'd be a foreign import with no Premier League experience and therefore would have been given plenty of time to settle in to the team and league and b) because he wouldn't have cost us £50M in 2006 like he did in 2011 (this is assuming we'd have paid around £20M like Liverpool did in 2007 when they eventually purchased him).
So what I'm really saying here, Fernando, is that if you'd have just given in to the Dark Side (aka Chelsea, according to the public media) and joined us in 2006, you'd have saved yourself a lot of pressure and general trouble, you'd have saved Chelsea an extra £30M(ish) which I'm sure Mr. Abramovich would have appreciated and you'd have saved yourself a lot (Okay, maybe not a lot, maybe just a bit) of abuse from those Scouse History-Harpers at Anfield! Tsk.
So instead of joining the worst club in the history of mankind in 2006, he stayed on at Atletico for one more season and joined one of our arch-rivals, Liverpool, in 2007 (Or then arch-rivals. Let's be honest, they're a mid-table team now...hehehe!).
I'm not very keen on Liverpool so I don't want to talk about them too much, but we all know how things started off for Mr. Torres at Anfield. Much like his start at Atletico, Torres scored in just his second league game. To make things even sweeter for him, it was his first appearance at Anfield and he'd scored against one of Liverpool's fiercest rivals and one of the best defences in Europe in Chelsea.
Taking all that into account, it's understandable that the fans and the club fell in love with the Spaniard immediately. As much as it pains me to say this, Liverpool is a historic and romantic football club and when Anfield rocks, it's a very unique atmosphere. Take all that into account and add to it that Torres became Liverpool's poster boy and it's easy to see why he fell in love with the club.
What I'm trying to say is Fernando Torres loved Atletico and he loved Liverpool. During his time at those clubs, he really played for them – which brings me back to what I said at the beginning of this article. Yes, Torres has a contract with Chelsea, but does he really play for the club?
He grew up to become the top dog at Atletico, He then moved to Liverpool and strolled into the place as the top dog there. Then he came to Chelsea to find that Fluffy the Three-Headed Dog from the first Harry Potter movie had already made himself at home in London (I'm talking about Drogba as Fluffy, in case you hadn't cottoned onto it yet) and he sat in the corner and done a little poop.
Don't get me wrong, I like Fernando Torres. There's nothing more that I'd like than for Torres to go on some crazy goalscoring run and end the season with 25 league goals. I've defended him to the hilt like many other Chelsea fans against opposing fans who claim he's been the biggest waste of money in history, and I think he's genuinely grateful to the Chelsea fans for the support we've given him, but in my eyes he just doesn't do the business any more.
A lot of strikers are only at their best when they play for a club that loves them and they love back. Didier Drogba is our example. He loved the club and we loved him back. When he stepped onto the pitch in a Chelsea shirt, he didn't want to let the people or the club that he loved down and it showed. Personally, I don't get the same feeling from Torres.