Spanish striker Fernando Torres scored the opening goal for Chelsea against defending Premier League champions Manchester City in Sunday’s FA Community Shield. The game ended 3-2 after City scored three second-half goals, but it left world football fans and pundits everywhere wondering if Chelsea’s No. 9 is finally ready to shine.
Since making his $80 million move from Liverpool in the January 2011 transfer window, Torres has only found the back of the net 13 times in 68 appearances for the London side.
Although Torres has shown glimpses of brilliance so far during his time with Chelsea, he has yet to rediscover the form that took the football world by storm when he was playing for Liverpool.
The striker underwent season-ending knee surgery near the end of the 2009-2010 season, and he has not been seen as the same goal-scoring threat ever since.
El Nino has struggled to make his way into the starting lineup in his first two seasons with the Blues, but with the departure of Chelsea legend Didier Drogba, Torres is the most likely candidate to take over as the focal point of the Chelsea strikeforce.
But is he ready to take on that role?
After a season that ended with FA Cup and Champions League victory, Torres went on to win the UEFA 2012 European Championships with Spain and was the top scorer of the tournament. Chelsea fans everywhere are hoping those successes are enough to awaken the Torres of old.
The Spaniard has had a handful of quality performances since making Stamford Bridge his new stomping ground, but he has not yet scored the goals Chelsea paid the big money for. After his goal on Sunday, Chelsea fans will have their fingers crossed.
Could Sunday’s goal be a preview of what’s to come this season?