Ferran Torres’ new challenge for his old resilience | Soccer | Sports

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“It has been hard to be off the field without being able to help my teammates, it felt like a long time, but fortunately it is over. I’m back, that’s the most important thing,” said Ferran Torres after the match against UD Las Palmas. It was his return, the most anticipated and applauded by the 46,000 spectators at Montjuïc. He reappeared in the 71st minute, occupying the right wing and immediately demanding that the rival goalkeeper, Aarón Escandell, make a save to avoid a 2-0 lead. 59 days and 9 games passed after that match against Osasuna that broke his progression: a muscle injury in the fourth minute of the match left him off the field, in tears, for almost two months. Just when Ferran Torres was living his best moment. His resilience and mental strength—the one that had earned him the nickname The shark— led him to earn a place in Xavi’s eleven, alternating starting positions with coming out as a solution to blocked games. This season he already has 11 goals, and is the Barça team’s second top scorer, behind Lewandowski, with 20. But now he faces a great challenge: to earn, once again, a place up front. For now, the fans have filled him with morale, and he will have to return it on the field in a forward that has once again performed after a goal drought.

He managed to convince Xavi Hernández before his injury. And he completed a good preseason, becoming a key element for the Terrassa coach before Barcelona stagnated in terms of goals and results, and had to resurface and start from scratch. “He can participate in the five attacking positions we have. He has practically played in all of them, he is a footballer who gives you many variations. He goes well on the foot and in space, he has a goal. He gives us a lot,” said the Barça coach before the match against Las Palmas. Before the injury, Ferran was going through a sweet moment. He won the fight and the title over João Félix, who has found his place as a catalyst, against Las Palmas and Betis. He scored a goal for the Andalusian team hat trick, in addition to giving an assist and becoming a centenarian with the Barça shirt. He was in his best moment, and Xavi trusted him. “Ferran embodies what it is to be a mentally strong footballer. Here, on a day-to-day basis, they make you feel that you are worthless, whether you are a player, coach or press officer. This is Barça, it’s a shame, but that’s how it is,” said the coach before the match against Betis.

But everything went wrong. With the injury, the progression has come to a screeching halt, and it remains to be seen what will happen to the forward line, which has regained form during his absence. Since Ferran was out, Lewandowski has reconciled with the goal after divorcing him during the first stretch of the season, scoring seven goals from a foul by the Valencian player. Lamine Yamal, the undisputed starter for Xavi – despite his young age – has also gained weight, with three goals in his absence, and who left the field of the eternal rival, the Bernabéu, applauded after participating in the three goals that Spain scored in the friendly against Brazil. Like Raphinha, with two goals since the game against Osasuna, the only one capable of scoring in Barcelona’s last game after the assist of João Félix, immersed in his emotional ups and downs that affect sports.

With the forward regaining performance, the next few weeks are key for the striker to show Xavi that his confidence and physical ability remain intact. Now he will have to fight to regain his place against Lewandowski, Raphinha, Yamal and João. Against Cádiz, the Polish player will not be there due to an accumulation of cards, ensuring that he can play in the Classic. “Whatever the coach says,” Ferran said when asked if he sees himself playing 9 in the club’s next game. For now, he must bring out his capacity for resilience that has given him so much fame.

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