International FootballDownload App

Euro 2012 Results: Fernando Torres Finds Redemption for Spain vs. Ireland

GDANSK, POLAND - JUNE 14:  Fernando Torres of Spain celebrates scoring their thrid goal during the UEFA EURO 2012 group C match between Spain and Ireland at The Municipal Stadium on June 14, 2012 in Gdansk, Poland.  (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images
Josh MartinNBA Lead WriterNovember 20, 2016

Is it just me, or does Fernando Torres look better in red than he does in blue?

Chances are, El Niño himself would think so. His first foray in warmer hues for Spain at Euro 2012 didn't go so swimmingly, as the 28-year-old striker botched a trio of scoring opportunities after coming on as a 75th-minute substitution during what turned out to be a 1-1 draw with Italy in the Group C opener.

He looked much more comfortable, though, in a starting role on Thursday in a 4-0 win for the Furia Roja, albeit against a hopelessly overmatched Ireland squad.

Not that the caliber of opponent can or should necessarily devalue the fact that Torres put forth arguably his finest performance on the pitch in a year-and-a-half.

As in, since he was sold by Liverpool to Chelsea in the most expensive intraleague transfer in the history of the English Premier League.

Granted, Torres didn't suddenly or miraculously rediscover the same speed that made him so dynamic with Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, not to mention the Spanish national team. But he did play with a level of confidence that had seemingly escaped him while in a Chelsea shirt, even as the Blues bore their way through the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

Despite struggling through crippling bouts of self-doubt and failing to find solid footing amidst a coaching carousel at Stamford Bridge, Torres managed to chip in 11 goals and 16 assists for the Blues, at times showing flashes of the Fernando of old.

But never for quite as long as he did against the Irish. He finished off a beautiful run by David Silva with a cracker of a goal in the fourth minute and hooked up again with Silva in the 70th minute to put Spain up 3-0. In between, Torres did a terrific job of linking on the attack and pressing on defense.

Of course, there's no telling whether this was just a flash in the pan, whether Torres will be able to parlay his latest success into something more against a much more formidable opponent in Croatia.

Or whether he can capture lightning in a bottle and bring it back with him to England, where he'll once again be fighting for time at striker with Chelsea.

In the meantime, at least Torres can take comfort in knowing that he's still capable of being a productive force on the pitch for the best international squad in the world.

Where can I comment?

Stay on your game

Latest news, insights, and forecasts on your teams across leagues.

Choose Teams
Get it on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Real-time news for your teams right on your mobile device.

Download
Copyright © 2017 Bleacher Report, Inc. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved. BleacherReport.com is part of Bleacher Report – Turner Sports Network, part of the Turner Sports and Entertainment Network. Certain photos copyright © 2017 Getty Images. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of Getty Images is strictly prohibited. AdChoices