Chelsea pays record-breaking fee for Liverpool's Torres

LONDON: Chelsea, the Premier League champions, on Monday paid a record-breaking £50 million ($80.4 million) for Liverpool's striker Fernando Torres.

The transaction was made on the last day of the Premier League transfer window. The Spanish striker signed a five-and-a-half-year contract at Stamford Bridge. Under the terms of the transfer, Torres will be allowed to play against his former club.

"I am very happy with my transfer to Chelsea and I am looking forward very much to helping my new team-mates this season and for many years to come," said Torres. "I hope I can score some important goals for the supporters to enjoy this season."

"This is a very significant day for Chelsea, capturing one of the best players in the world with his peak years ahead of him. We have long admired the talents of a player who is a proven goalscorer in English football," said Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck.

On Tuesday, Chelsea announced that the 26-year-old forward will wear the number 9 shirt. The Spanish World and European champion also wore the shirt at Liverpool, in the World Cup in South Africa and at his previous club Atletico Madrid.

Torres netted 65 goals in 102 league appearances and 81 in 142 games in all competitions during his three and a half seasons with Liverpool. He was signed in 2007 when he was 23 years old for approximately £20 million ($32.2 million).

The Spanish footballer began his professional career at Atletico Madrid. He was the club's youngest player and youngest captain. His debut came aged 17 and he took the armband two years later.

In his teenage years, Torres had achieved top-scorer status for his country in both the Under 16 and Under 19 European Championships and he scored his first goal for the senior side against Italy aged 20, seven months after his first cap.

He participated in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups in Germany and South Africa respectively. He was part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2010. He was also a member of the Euro 2008 winners in Vienna, Austria.


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