Torres pleads case for starting place to Del Bosque
Out-of-form Spanish striker Fernando Torres has reportedly held a private meeting with boss Vicente Del Bosque and begged to be given a role in the team’s World Cup final against Holland.
Torres has yet to recover any semblance of form after having surgery on his right knee and was dropped for Spain’s semi-final tie with Germany, in which his replacement Pedro starred.
The Barcelona winger is a tempting 7/1 to open the scoring.
But former Liverpool team-mate Xabi Alonso has defended Torres, saying: “We have absolute trust in him.”
Torres scored three goals at the 2006 World Cup and is a decent 5/1 to open his 2010 tournament account with the first goal in the final.
Such a feat would carry a large dose of romanticism and Del Bosque could be swayed into picking Torres by remembering the Euro 2008 final when a Spain side lacking David Villa won 1-0 thanks to a goal from the ex-Atletico Madrid player. That’s a 22/1 chance here.
Torres didn’t find out he was not starting Wednesday’s semi-final until three hours before kick-off and Del Bosque hinted Torres may miss out again.
“I can’t see that we’ll deviate much from the semi-final,” Del Bosque said.
Torres could of course make an impact from the substitutes bench. Spain’s knock-out goals on route to the final have all come late in the second half – a time when Torres is likely to be on the pitch if the game is still 0-0. He’s 11/8 to score at any time.
Torres appeared in all six of Spain’s games so far, but he has managed just 277 minutes on the pitch, with only two shots on target.
That hasn’t stopped his club Liverpool slapping a reported world record £100million price tag on him in a bid to hold on to their star striker after tonight’s World Cup final. Liverpool are 14/1 to win the 2010/11 Premier League.