El Niño, mi ex-novio (jejejeje)

Posted: August 2, 2011 in books
Tags: ,

I picked up a copy of Fernando Torres’ “El Niño: My Story” at Kinokuniya in Suria KLCC a couple of weeks ago. Quite a fortunate sighting, as only two copies were left.

As I clutched a copy of the book as if it was an expensive thing that I had to guard with my life (even if I think it should have been marked at least 50% off—c’mon, Kinokuniya, Torres is no longer a Red!), Rick walks up next to me. “Don’t judge me,” I say, assuming he was eyeing the book I was holding. “That’s OK,” he says. “Torres has done a lot of good when he was with us.” (Although he probably was rolling his eyes in his head at the sight of another Torres fangirl, haha.)

To say that this book is an easy read is an understatement. It’s an easy read, as the translation of Torres’ thoughts appear as if it was just in casual conversation with a friend—despite being disjointed at times. In some chapters, he does paint an intimate picture of his life in Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. It is a treat for any fan who adores Torres, especially with all the photographs that make up about half (or more than?) of the book. And at the time of its publishing (2009), this was pretty much an autobiography that was approved by Liverpool FC’s media (don’t go looking for much of the club history and such though—there are a whole slew of books for that, including a Bill Shankly book of quotes).

One thing I realized is that while Torres writes about how he seemed destined to go to Liverpool from Atletico Madrid (remember the captain’s armband falling from his arm, exposing the words: “We’ll never walk alone”?), I get the feeling that the book was a premonition of his move to Chelsea. Of course, it may just be me, but apart from those two other clubs, he seems to have mentioned Chelsea more than any other club.

This brings me to the point that I do feel a sense of regret reading the book. Speaking as a fan of Liverpool, I do feel as though Torres could have been a legend in a club whose supporters showered him with much affection. Looking back at the events in January 2011, there was a strong sense of antagonism toward him partly because he was so well-loved—and then to exchange the affection with a transfer request? What betrayal. (Of course, he was also beaten by the club in the PR/spin game.)

Yet, if you must understand why he left Atletico Madrid, you would also gain insight as to why he eventually left Liverpool as well. El Niño had a hungry heart—one that wanted to win championships—despite the seemingly quiet demeanor. Yes, he was hungry—and impatient. While he succeeded for country (ah, that unforgettable Euro 2008 goal), he had not found much luck at the club level and was always present in a team that was undergoing a period of transition.

(As for my fangirl self, I consider Fernando Torres an ex-boyfriend. Harharhar. Seriously though, I wish him well in Chelsea, but I don’t wish for Chelsea to win anything. I’ll openly root for Torres when he’s donning the Spain NT shirt.)

Give this book to any Torres fangirl, and you’re guaranteed to get a squeal of delight in return.

P.S. The best line of the book: “Bloody hell, where is Steven Gerrard?”


Cross-posted on Communique.


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