Football Football

Costa signing convinced me to leave- Torres


TORRES-EMPOLIESMILAN, October 18- AC Milan striker Fernando Torres says the arrival of Diego Costa convinced him it was the right time to leave Chelsea, despite the best efforts of Jose Mourinho to keep him.

Torres, 30, signed for Filippo Inzaghi’s side in the summer on a two-year loan, bringing an end to a frustrating three-and-a-half year spell at Stamford Bridge.

Though Milan could not offer Torres the prospect of Champions League football this season, the Spaniard insists that the promise of regular first-team football and the chance to restore the Rossoneri to European competition was the motivation behind his decision.

Torres has scored one goal in four Serie A appearances since joining AC Milan from Chelsea.

“I had decided to leave Chelsea,” Torres told Corriere dello Sport. “With Mourinho there was a relationship of respect, but the club had bought a new striker.

“With the coach I had spoken often about my future. He wanted me to stay in London, but I needed a new stimulus for my career.

“That day I received a phone call from Milan. I was presented with the offer I had been waiting for. I was at a particular moment in my career.

“I needed a change and I was aiming to find a team that would guarantee me a starting spot. I had other opportunities, but I chose Milan because they proved that they really wanted me.

“I’m here to win, to remain for many years, and to take advantage of the opportunity that Milan have offered me.

“But no Champions League? The club is experiencing a situation that they are not used to. For me, it was a greater incentive to help Milan return to where they deserve to be.”

Under the tutelage of Inzaghi, Torres has a mentor who has experienced profound success on both the Italian and European stage.

And the Spaniard hopes that he can follow in the footsteps of the 41-year-old coach, who bagged 126 goals in 300 Milan appearances over an 11-year spell, winning two Serie A titles, two Champions Leagues and a Coppa Italia.
Torres hopes that he can follow Inzaghi’s example at Milan and says he would love to have played with Shevchenko.

“My objective is to win the scudetto, first of all,” Torres added. “If I only win half of what he [Inzaghi] won then I will be glad. I can understand Inzaghi. Anyone who has played football has something extra to offer their players. He is similar to Luis Aragones, who made history with Atletico Madrid.

“He is not concerned only with the attacking department, he is driving the entire group. He can give me some valuable advice on my movements in the area.”

Milan have held a long-term interest in Torres ever since he broke onto the scene as a 17-year-old at Atletico Madrid.

And the Spaniard admits that the prospect of playing for Milan has always appealed to him throughout his career.

“The first time we spoke of this eventuality was in the 2001-02 season,” he said. “It was a time when Milan and Atletico Madrid had carried out a number of moves. It was a different era and Atletico had no intention of selling me.

“It would have been nice to play in the [1994] Milan side that beat Barcelona 4-0 in the Champions League final, or in the side of Shevchenko.

“This is another team — now they will fight to return to Europe.”