Rio Ferdinand believes Fernando Torres “failed” at Chelsea but succeeded at Liverpool due to different playing styles.
Torres was once of Europe’s most feared marksmen, scoring 81 goals in 142 games at Liverpool after joining them from Atletico Madrid in 2007.
The Spaniard then became the most expensive footballer in British history when he left in 2011 to join Chelsea for £50million.
Torres won a Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup at Stamford Bridge, but regressed from his time at Anfield, scoring just 45 goals in 172 games.
Now 32, the forward has returned to Atletico Madrid, where he has found something approaching his previous form as his boyhood club battle for a La Liga title and the Champions League trophy. Matt Stead believes he is a player reborn at his old home.
Speaking to BT Sport after Atletico took a one-goal advantage heading into the second leg of their Champions League semi-final with Bayern Munich, former Manchester United defender Ferdinand discussed how the striker has settled back in Spain.
“It’s his kind of football,” Ferdinand said. “He needed to play counter-attack football. [Steven] Gerrard at Liverpool used to get the ball. First thought, one touch, in behind the centre halves he was playing against.
“He went to Chelsea and they played ball-retention football. It didn’t suit him. His hold-up play isn’t his strength. He hasn’t got a great touch. He’s more comfortable running on to things. He didn’t get that opportunity at Chelsea. That’s why he was probably a failure there.”