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Last Updated: Wednesday, 4 July 2007, 13:58 GMT 14:58 UK
Liverpool complete Torres signing
Fernando Torres
Liverpool have signed Fernando Torres from Atletico Madrid on a six-year deal for a fee believed to be 20m.

Reds boss Rafael Benitez said the 23-year-old Spanish striker, who passed a medical on Tuesday, took a pay cut as part of the move.

"The Liverpool offer arrived and I told the club to listen to that offer as that is the team I wanted to play for," said the Spanish international.

"It's one of the best, if not the best, club in Europe."

Torres returned to Madrid to say farewell to the Atletico supporters before travelling back to Merseyside to be unveiled by his new club.

He had been at Atletico since 11 and became their youngest ever captain at the age of 19.

He has been the Spanish club's leading scorer in each of the last five campaigns, scoring 14 league goals in 36 starts last season as the side finished seventh in La Liga.

606: DEBATE
CM

"It has been a difficult decision to leave my all-time club," said Torres.

"But it would have been hard for me to reject Liverpool's offer. It is a big leap for me and I think it was the right thing for everyone.

"The time comes in the life of a player that he needs more challenges."

Torres will wear the number nine shirt worn by ex-Anfield forwards Ian Rush and Robbie Fowler.

His capture also shatters the 14m the Reds paid Auxerre for striker Djibril Cisse as the club's previous record signing three seasons ago.

I think Premiership is a football that adapts well to my style

Fernando Torres

"The fact that Liverpool are giving me the number nine jersey just goes to show the confidence they have placed in me, when considering those who have worn that shirt before me," said Torres.

"A new beautiful adventure begins for me and I hope that with work and effort I can be among the best players.

"This is a unique opportunity for me. Liverpool aspire to everything and that has been an important factor in my decision to go there.

"I want to adapt as quickly as possible. I think Premiership is a football that adapts well to my style.

Villarreal's Diego Forlan has been lined up to replace Torres at Atletico in a 14.2m deal, while the Anfield club have recouped some of their outlay by selling Luis Garcia to Atletico for about 4m.

He has power, pace, is good in the air, scores goals, can dribble and do a lot of things

Reds boss Rafael Benitez

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez wanted to land Torres to provide a spearhead for an assault on the title and believes the fee for Torres will not adversely trouble the player.

"He has experience," said fellow Spaniard Benitez. "He was playing in the first division at 17 years old and I think he can manage the pressure.

"He knows he will be an important player and I'm sure the staff and other players will help him.

"He has power, pace, is good in the air, scores goals, can dribble and do a lot of things. The kind of striker he is different to the other strikers we have at the moment."

Benitez also expects Torres to have more of an impact at the club than ex-striker Fernando Morientes.

"He is different to Morientes," added Benitez. "He is quicker and stronger.

"Morientes had other skills and was a very good finisher but Torres can run behind defenders, can play in the wide areas or play between the lines to receive the ball."



SEE ALSO
'El Nino' to warm up Anfield
04 Jul 07 |  Liverpool
Garcia seals Atletico Madrid move
03 Jul 07 |  Liverpool
Cisse on verge of Marseille deal
29 Jun 07 |  Liverpool
Sissoko signs new Liverpool deal
28 Jun 07 |  Liverpool
Liverpool capture keeper Mihaylov
27 Jun 07 |  Liverpool


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