“Soy de Fuenla” is a newly-released Fuenlabrada newspaper. As part of their inaugural celebrations, they interviewed several Fuenlabrada-born public figures, Fernando Torres among them.
Do you still keep in touch with your childhood friends here?
Some of them, even though I still see pretty much everyone when I go visit. Sometimes we have dinner together and it’s quite emotional… so many memories. Actually, I’d say each one of them (his childhood friends) played a part in me becoming the person I am today.
What did you enjoy the most about living here? And what did you like the least?
I liked everything. Fuenlabrada is such a humble city, the quintessential working-class town. It shaped me as a person, it gave me values and principles, the ones I now try to teach my children: effort, sacrifice, respect… Fuenlabrada gave me so much and taught me so much that if, I were to be born again, I wouldn’t change a thing, not a day I spent there. There was nothing I didn’t like, to be honest. My family and loved ones made it all too easy for me to love it.
When was the last time you were here?
It’s been a while because I barely even go to Spain anymore. The last time I was there was when I was given the Golden Medal of the city. I’d like to thank the authorities once again because it’s something that fills me with great pride.
Have you ever imagined what would you be doing right now if you hadn’t made it in football? Would you still live here?
I’ll never know, I guess. It’s a difficult thing to think about because I don’t think I chose to walk this road. More like, football took me down a road I suddenly realized I couldn’t get out of, not that I wanted to, mind you. I left this town when I was still a child, and I live in London now. Who knows what the road has in store for me in a couple of years from now. But yeah, maybe if I hadn’t made it in football I’d still live here; I’d still hang around my old neighborhood.
What do you miss most about the city?
I had everything I needed when I was a kid, but it’s been too long since I was there and actually lived there, so I’m very out of the loop about certain things. I’d say that if I were still a kid and was forced to move elsewhere, I’d miss everything.
What’s your take on Spain’s current situation?
It’s saddening and frustrating to see. I can’t make sweeping generalizations, but even though there might be some different takes on it here and there, I feel like the whole country’s currently going through a heavy state of disillusion and hopelessness. The only thing there is left to do is just keep on going, to go face to face with reality, to gather strength and courage from anywhere we can. We have to keep on fighting, no matter how hard and unachievable it all might seem now.
Will you finish your football career at a Spanish club?
It’s hard to know. Like I’ve said before, I have no way of knowing where the road might end up taking me. I only know that my present and immediate future is in London and Chelsea.
You scored the goal that made us European champions in 2008. How do you remember that moment?
That whole season was just wonderful, my first in England, and that moment was the perfect ending for it, one I could’ve never dreamed about. Without a doubt, it’s been one of the happiest moments of my life. When you manage to achieve something for the first time, whatever it is, it’s incredibly special, even if you achieve bigger and greater things later on. That first time will always remain the most special.
What does it mean to you to play for the National Team?
I see it as a reward for the daily efforts, to be chosen as one of the twenty three most important players in the country, and in my case, to be able to have been so over a hundred times is something that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to say how much I appreciate and value. It was never a goal of mine simply because I didn’t even think it could ever happen. So yes, it’s a reward for all the effort and sacrifice. And that’s why every call up is as special as the first one, it’s a source of such great pride I don’t even think I can put it into words.
Do you think the SNT has an actual chance of winning the World Cup?
I think we do, of course. We’re the reigning champions and we’ll do absolutely everything we can to maintain our status. It’s a new thing for all of us to have to maintain it you know? To have to defend our title at the World Cup, but we hope that what we went through during the Confederations Cup can serve as a lesson.
What does it feel like? To be part of this generation of great football players? We’re incredibly proud of you being from Fuenla and having achieved what you’ve achieved with the National Team. We ‘d like to take this opportunity to thank you.
The fact that you, or anyone else, actually thank me for it is one of the biggest sources of satisfaction I have in my career. I feel extremely lucky to be able to experience this and to have had the chance to be part of this generation’s success, to have contributed to it with a little grain of sand.
Who is your best friend in the National Team? Who’s the one you can “connect” with the most?
Well, Sergio Ramos has always been a good friend of mine and very supportive to me. We hit it off ever since we first met. He’s someone special to me. I was also incredibly lucky to meet Juan Mata and Pepe Reina and watch our relationship progress and see it grow into a wonderful friendship. The fact that we became teammates (in Juan’s case) brought us much closer together.