Fernando Torres has selected a combined XI from his time at Chelsea and Liverpool – but there’s no place for Eden Hazard or Jamie Carragher in his dream team.
Torres spent four years at Liverpool between 2007 and 2011 before joining Chelsea in a £50million move, where he won the Champions League, Europa League, and FA Cup.
The 36-year-old announced his retirement from football last season after winding down his career at Japanese side Sagan Tosu.
Shortly after retiring, he returned to Stamford Bridge to visit former team-mates and colleagues and was asked to name a combined XI of Liverpool and Chelsea players.
It was no easy task, with Torres forced to leave out a host of star names. He said: ‘I could make two or three teams of people I played with at Chelsea and Liverpool, and all of them would be good enough to win the Premier League in any year.’
After much deliberation, the Spaniard opted for former Red’s goalkeeper Pepe Reina between the posts. ‘With Reina, I shared many times in Liverpool and also in the national team. Petr Cech is obviously one of the best goalkeepers I ever played with, so it would be a very difficult decision as a coach to make.’
The handwritten note that Torres wrote his dream team on (left); our pitch map shows Torres opted for a 4-3-3 formation and a host of star names from his time at both clubs (right)
At the heart of the back four, Torres left out Reds legend Carragher and instead opted for the hardened duo of John Terry and Sami Hyypia, who he believes would’ve formed an excellent partnership.
‘I would have Sami Hyypia and John Terry in the middle of the defense – two strong centre-backs who are good with the ball and without the ball. I think they would be a superb partnership as well.’
Torres opted for Ashley Cole and Branislav Ivanovic as his choices at full-back before naming a stellar midfield trio in his 4-3-3 formation.
‘The midfield might be the most difficult part, as I’ve been lucky to play with some fantastic midfielders. Obviously I have to go for Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, both of them have to be in there.
‘I played with so many great midfielders it’s very hard to pick. I played with many, many great players and I’m worried I’m going to have to leave some of them out, but I will have Xabi Alonso as the other midfielder, playing behind Gerrard and Lampard.’
In attack, Torres chose Didier Drogba to lead the line but despite playing alongside a host of big-name forwards at both clubs, he chose two players he believes were underrated but would ensure plenty of creativity.
‘I will get Yossi Benayoun in there, who played for both Liverpool and Chelsea. He’s a great friend and a great player. It was easy to play with him for me, he was always trying to give chances to the striker and looking for those small gaps that no-one can see but him.
‘I will pick Dirk Kuyt on the right. He was always scoring important goals and put in a lot of hard work, always. It was amazing seeing the way he used to work and I don’t think people really appreciated how good he was, but I could see it every day in training.’