Updated 5:06am 26 May 2013
Striker Fernando Torres is Liverpool's record signing, moving from boyhood club Athetico Madrid in July 2007 for a fee of around £20m. Beloved by Athletico fans, his transfer to Liverpool was met with protest and even petitions by the supporters in Madrid. The Spanish side did not qualify for the UEFA cup in the 2006-2007, meaning Torres would have to look elsewhere for European football. He now wears the famous number 9 shirt which both Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush wore before him. Rafa Benitez said that Torres had taken a pay cut in order to join Liverpool. Torres was snapped up by Athletico Madrid at the age of 11 where he quickly became a hot prospect for the future, making his first team debut at a club record age of just 17. In his 214 appearances for the Spanish side, the player scored 82 goals. He was the team's leading scorer for five seasons in a row, coming behind only David Villa and Samuel Eto in La Liga goals scored. Torres has played for Spain at international level throughout his career, figuring in the Euro 2004 tournament as well as the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he scored three goals, catching the attention of foreign clubs. Following the World Cup, Torres turned down a move to Chelsea to spend another season with Althetico. Torres has represented his country since his teens, winning the Algarve tournament with Spain's under-16 squad in 2001 and winning UEFA's European under-16 tournament in the same year- finishing as top scorer. Nicknamed 'El Nino' ('The Kid') for his youthful looks, Torres was Athletico's youngest ever Captain- leading the side at the age of just 19. Forward Luis Garcia, who had been at Liverpool since 2004 moved in the opposite direction to Torres during the summer break, signing a three-year deal with Athletico for a fee of around £4m. Like Gerard Houllier before him, Rafa Benitez has had a tendency to buy players from his home country, which has had mixed results as many players stuggle to adapt to the physical, high-tempo pace of Premiership football. Torres however has made an immediate impact on Liverpool's Premiership campaign, scoring an important goal against Chelsea on his league debut and netting two in the Reds' 6-0 thrashing of Derby County at Anfield.