Torres targets league and European glory

Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is confident the Reds can finally bring the league title back to Anfield for the first time in 19 years – and bag a sixth Champions League crown to boot. Hampered by a hamstring complaint for much of the season, Torres netted his first two Anfield goals of the season on Sunday, consigning Chelsea to only their second away defeat – and possibly dumping them out of the title race. And in an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo, the Spaniard insists that he was quoted out of context at the 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year gala, after which he was widely reported to have named Manchester United as favourites to lift their 18th league crown – equalling Liverpool’s record tally. “Yes, they’re favourites but being favourites doesn’t mean anything,” says Torres in the new issue of FourFourTwo magazine, out now. “What I said was that United are the champions and that carries the favourites tag, but I don’t even want to be favourites now. Being favourites doesn’t make you champions; it just gives you extra pressure. “United won the title last year, Chelsea have two before that. Liverpool are challengers. And if we play as well in the second half of the season as the first then we have more chance of winning the league than anyone else. But let them carry the favourites burden; let them have the pressure.” Liverpool’s title tilt has waned in recent months, with Rafa Benitez’s men drawing seven of their last 10 league encounters before the last-gasp win against Chelsea – but the return of Torres will give hope to the Anfield faithful. Not only that, but Torres believes Liverpool have a good chance of reaching their third Champions League final in five years – despite going head-to-head with Real Madrid, the hated rivals of his former club Atletico Madrid, in the last 16 later this month. “We’re very difficult to face over two games, no-one likes playing us,” he says. “We have a coach who plans games perfectly and we’re dangerous. But there’s Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter, Juve, Man United and Chelsea too.” And Torres would be happy to face his old team, whom Liverpool played twice in the group stages while the Spaniard was out injured. “We have to beat Madrid, then I’d love to play Atletico. In Rome, anywhere. But I’d love another chance to play in the Calderon.” Read the full exclusive interview with Fernando Torres in the March issue of FourFourTwo magazine, in shops now.

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