Fernando Torres has admitted that he hit an all-time low last season and even fell out of love with football at one point, according to Sky Sports.
He returned to form with a bang, scoring two of Spain’s goals in their 4-0 rout of Ireland. It was a big moment for the Chelsea player, as at one point it looked like he would not even make the 23-man squad for the tournament.
“Del Bosque phoned me before dropping me for the Venezuela friendly and I fully understood,” said Torres. “I had lost some of my love for football. I had stopped being an example for the younger players, which is something I was taught to do at Atletico Madrid. Being picked for Spain had become a habit. Now it is a prize again.”
Shay to give in after Euros
Shay Given has said he is ready to quit international football after Euro 2012.
The Ireland goal-keeper is the country’s most capped player, with 124 caps to date. He, however, has confirmed that Monday’s game against Italy is likely to be his last.
“I think it might be time to step aside and let somebody else come into the side,” said Given. “It’s all a bit raw at the moment because we’ve lost an important game (against Spain) but at some point I’m going to have to make a decision.”
The Aston Villa keeper has come in for criticism for his performances, with Ireland knocked out of the tournament before the final group game.
Bierhoff not worried by Kroos outburst
Germany’s team manager Oliver Bierhoff has admitted some sympathy for disgruntled midfielder Toni Kroos, who is unhappy about his lack of Euro 2012 game time.
Germany play Denmark tomorrow, with Kroos likely to start on the bench for the third time in a row. Germany have an embarrassment of midfield riches in their squad, with Bayern Munich’s Kroos just one of several top performers finding themselves on the bench behind the first choice trio of Mesut Ozil, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski.
“The fact Toni has expresed his discontent is not completely crazy – he does have a point,” said Bierhoff. “There comes a time when a player produces a flippant statement or expresses his discontent, that’s not so bad. If players are unhappy when they don’t play, it shows they are not here just to pass the time.”
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.
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