Euro 2012: Torres is still an important player for Spain – Reina
Liverpool's Pepe Reina believes former club team-mate Fernando Torres will be an important player for Spain at Euro 2012
Pepe Reina backed his former Liverpool team-mate Fernando Torres to shine at Euro 2012 after the Chelsea striker was included in Vicente del Bosque’s final 23-man squad for the tournament.
The Liverpool goalkeeper played alongside the former Atletico Madrid captain for three-and-a-half seasons at Anfield as Torres scored 81 goals in 142 appearances for the Reds.
But the 28-year-old striker, who won Euro 2008 and the last World Cup with Spain, has struggled to replicate his prolific Liverpool form since moving to Chelsea in a record £50m deal in January 2011.
But Reina believes Torres can bring his improved club form towards the end of the season with Chelsea into this summer’s tournament in Poland and Ukraine and still considers the forward to be an important player for the defending champions.
“It’s been a while since I have seen him like this,” said Reina.
“Physically, he is in good shape. Mentally he feels he is an important player in the national team, all the more so since Villa pulled out, and he relishes that role,” he added.
“He feels comfortable and he looks switched on. Hopefully, he will have a good European Championships and Spain will feed off his goals.”
Del Bosque controversially omitted Valencia’s Roberto Soldado, who scored 27 goals last season, from his 23-man travelling party to make room for Álvaro Negredo and Torres – and the Spain boss believes the Chelsea striker is returning to his best form.
“He seems less closed, with a positive attitude and the pleasure you get from coming to play for the national team,” Del Bosque said. “He has spirit and is in a very positive mood.”