You’ve always said that Fernando Torres played an important role in you becoming a Chelsea player. What did he tell you?
“During the National Team meetings, he always came up to me and joked about how well-liked I was at Chelsea, how great I could be for the team and how well I’d fit in. He told me how fantastic things would turn out for me if I moved there and how much I would love London, and he committed himself to help me in every way he could. He played a fundamental role in me signing for the club, not only when it came to me and my decision, but he also talked to the club and made them seriously consider me as a potential buy. I’m really grateful towards him. Right after I arrived, he was at my disposal: he gave me his car, an English cell-phone, he showed me around town, etc.”
When it comes to special relationships, yours with Fernando can definitely be considered as such, right?
“Yes, of course. Together we’ve won the World Cup, the Euro Cup, the Champions League and the FA Cup. Besides, he assisted my goal in the Euro final… Personally, I feel very privileged and lucky to have the chance to get to know him as he really is, and for being able to consider myself his friend. He’s a fantastic striker who’s done many great things; first at Atleti, then at Liverpool, then in the National Team, and now at Chelsea.”
He’s talked about how supportive you were when he was having a really rough time…
“Yes, he was specially beaten down last year. He wasn’t going through a good time during the beginning of last season so I tried to help him, to be by his side at all times and to make him feel that I trusted, trust and will always trust him.”
Do you think that Euro final moment was his way of saying “Thank you”?
“Man, what he did for me was much more than anything I could’ve ever done for him. He left me all alone in front of the goal, with no goalkeeper and with a ball at my feet to pounce into the net. He’s still talking about it you know, jokingly, saying I am now a “big deal” and “famous” thanks to him (laughs).”
You’ve said before that the Euro goal has been the most important one in your life (so far). What was going through your head at the time?
“Without a doubt it has been the most important one. All my family and friends were present; I hadn’t gotten playing time until then… I remember I ran like a madman towards Fernando and yelled at him “It’s yours! This goal is yours!”. Then I looked up to the stands and saw my whole family there, beaming with happiness.”
- Juan Mata's interview for Minuto 116 (x)
30 May 2013 @ 10:50pm
26 May 2013 @ 5:25pm
2 May 2013 @ 7:36pm
Iker Casillas consoles teammate Sergio Ramos after the UEFA Champions League Semi Final.