It seems incredible after Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque decided to use six midfielders in some of Spain’s matches, but Fernando Torres finished Euro 2012 as the winner of the golden boot.Torres started the match on the bench again and may have thought that his participation in the tournament was over.
I don’t know if he had done something to upset Del Bosque but he was not even used as a substitute in the semi-final against Portugal. Former Arsenal star Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona striker Pedro and Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo were all preferred to Torres, even though he had scored two good goals and Spain were in need of a goal.
With 75 minutes of the final gone and Spain leading Italy by 2-0, Torres finally got the nod. Maybe it was brilliant man management by the coach of Spain, as Torres was like a man on mission. He ran the Italians ragged and ten minutes after coming on he was celebrating his third goal in the tournament. Latching on to a pass from Xavi, Torres coolly slotted the ball past Italy’s keeper Buffon. He became the first player to score in two European finals and the sixth man to score three at Euro 2012.
The reason he won the golden boot was that he finished the tournament with an assist along with his three goals. Chelsea team mate Juan Mata made his debut at the competition with just three minutes of normal time left. Torres set him up a minute later and Mata duly scored Spain’s fourth. That meant Torres and Mario Gomez of Germany had three goals and one assist each, but Torres achieved his in 189 minutes while Gomez took 281 minutes.
Chelsea can expect Torres and Mata to return to Stamford Bridge in buoyant and confident moods and, hopefully, Torres can show Chelsea fans why the club paid £50 million for him. He could still be the best striker in the world. Even when he was on the bench for Spain, he did not let his head drop and, when called upon, he was ready.