• The 31-year-old was picked by Steven Gerrard to take part in the clash
• Torres praised Gerrard as the best he’s ever played with in the game
• The Spaniard also praised his time at Liverpool and the clubs fans
Fernando Torres’ last return to Anfield was met with boos from the Liverpool crowd when he was in a Chelsea shirt but the Atletico Madrid striker will be hoping for a different reaction on Sunday.
Picked by Steven Gerrard to play up front in the All-Star charity game against Jamie Carragher’s side, the Spaniard will partner Luis Suarez.
Torres struck up a close relationship with the Liverpool captain during his days at the club and he’s excited to be returning for this special occasion.
Speaking to Liverpool’s club website he said: ‘I’m really looking forward to meeting some of my old team-mates, especially Stevie. I’m sure it’s going to be a great day and night for him. And also to meet Liverpool fans again; many times I have been back to Anfield as an opponent, but this time I’m going like part of the home team. It’s going to be a really emotional day for me.’
The Atletico player says he’s fully behind the cause and is looking forward to helping Gerrard out.
‘My first reaction was: ‘Of course I will be there. I will do anything I can, anything in my hands, to be there with Stevie on that day.’
Liverpool fans will be drooling over the prospect that two of their best forwards in recent years will be partnering up and Torres admits he can’t wait to play alongside Luis Suarez.
He said: ‘I saw what Luis did in his time at Liverpool and it was amazing, just amazing. Luis is a good friend – we have a good relationship and good friendship. We were sitting together for two days at Melwood when I was leaving and he was coming.
‘We made good friends and we are still in touch now. I also know what it means to him to go back to Anfield and play there again. It will be great to play up front with him, especially with Stevie G behind us.’
In his previous returns to Anfield, Torres was greeted with a chorus of boos – with some fans still upset after he moved to Premier League rivals Chelsea.
But the 31-year-old was quick to play down the boos and praised Liverpool’s fans.
He revealed: ‘I will say to everybody that what the media says about the relationship between Liverpool fans and me after I left was not the reality.
Everybody knows the kind of reaction Liverpool fans had when we met on the street in London or when I went back to Liverpool – everybody gave me thanks for everything I did in Liverpool.
‘That is what I feel for them. For me, Liverpool fans are always going to be different; I had probably the best period of my career wearing the red shirt and all my memories are great. I have nothing bad to say about them and I never will – they treated me like one of them and I felt at home in my time there.
‘It is going to be amazing going back; hopefully the reception will be better than the one I had when I went with Chelsea. But it doesn’t matter what happens really. Liverpool fans are part of my heart and my feelings – everything I felt when I was a Liverpool player is inside me and no-one is going to take that away from me.’
He soon became a Kop hero after his move to Merseyside and Torres would love to score in front of the fans once again – and admits he wouldn’t hold back.
‘If I could do that, I would celebrate like if I was scoring in a Liverpool shirt,’ he said. ‘There are many memories, nice memories – great nights, great games, many goals scored in front of the Kop – and they made me feel like I could fly. I’m sure if I could score a goal, I can remember that kind of situation and try to enjoy it and celebrate like it’s an official game.’
Torres and Gerrard formed a formdiable partnership and relationship on the pitch, which Torres hasn’t forgotten – labelling the captain as the best player he played with.
‘I can’t wait to play with Stevie again. I just wanted to have the chance to play with him, even if it is just one last time. No-one knows if it is going to be the last time, but be sure that I am going to enjoy it.
‘I have said many times that Stevie is the best player that I have played with – by far. He was a big influence for me as a player; I had one career before I started playing with him and one career after I played with him. He changed my game and changed my motivation and ambition.
‘He made me feel that I could really do whatever I wanted. For me, he is going to be the best forever, so to have the chance to play with him on a special day like it is going to be on Sunday, is a privilege. I want to be there on Sunday and be on the pitch with him.’