TORRES CONFIDENT OVER LAST EIGHT
Jimmy Rice 29 December 2008
Fernando Torres is confident Liverpool can overcome Real Madrid to reach the last eight of the Champions League.
Old rivalries will provide an extra incentive for the former Atletico Madrid star - and Torres admits last season's semi-final heartache against Chelsea will also motivate the Reds in the knockout stages.
El Nino told his own official website: "Liverpool reached last year's Champions League semi-final, missing out on a trip to Moscow in extra-time against Chelsea.
"We all realise that it is going to be a tough tie against Real Madrid. I don't like talking about a possible favourite, but I am sure that we are going to qualify for the next round."
Torres also spoke of his determination to settle a few old scores when the tie takes place at the end of February.
"When I was playing my football in Spain, I used to score a lot against Barcelona, but found it harder when playing versus Real Madrid," said the 24-year-old. "In England, I have scored against Everton, Arsenal and Chelsea. I would, though, like to score against Manchester United, a team I have yet to score against."
Torres has been blighted by injury so far this season but it has still been a year to remember for the Spain international, who scored the winning goal in Euro 2008.
"I'm a bit sad to be coming to the end of this year," he added.
"The first nine months were unbelievable and at the end, even though I could not play regularly because of injury, there was recognition in the form of awards and nominations, like the PFA, L'Equipe and being a finalist in the FIFA World Player award.
"This has been my best year as a professional footballer.
"I adapted to Liverpool far quicker than expected, and to end the 2007-08 season winning Euro 2008 was a perfect finish.
"I hope that at the end of 2009 we can say the same celebrating another title. I hope to avoid injuries and that we win the Premier League title. It is the dream of every Red - fans, coaching staff and players."