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Page last updated at 13:21 GMT, Saturday, 5 July 2008 14:21 UK

Euro winner Torres hails Benitez

Fernando Torres
Torres hit two goals in the European Championship

Striker Fernando Torres insists Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez played a crucial role in inspiring his goalscoring exploits at Euro 2008.

The 24-year-old, who netted 33 goals in his debut season at Anfield, hit the winner as Spain beat Germany 1-0 in the European Championship final last week.

And Torres said: "There are days when you think: 'My God, this guy (Benitez) doesn't let you breathe.

"It's good as you need someone close to you, telling you to keep at it."

Torres' impressive haul last season broke Ruud van Nistelrooy's record for goals scored by a foreigner in a debut Premier League campaign

And he said that Benitez's relentless quest for improvement since he joined from Atletico Madrid for 26.5m has been a catalyst for his career.

Torres added: "At a club like Liverpool, you can't sit back after scoring 20-odd goals and say: 'well, that's it.'

"After you score 20, Benitez is at you during the next training session and stays on top of you all day, all week.

"He tells you to go off on your own and do new exercises. I want to progress in life, not relax, not be complacent.

"It is impossible to do it otherwise. We don't always fancy someone that close but, in the long term, I am sure that everybody will thank him for it."

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Torres also saluted the leadership qualities of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard

"He's a great example, and those of us who have been in a similar situation know how difficult it is to handle.

"It's incredible the way he (Gerrard) carries himself regardless of what is going on around him.

"I'd love to be captain of another team one day and Steven has shown me how to be a great leader."


see also
Torres - the making of a legend
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Germany 0-1 Spain
29 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Why Torres is Anfield's new hero
01 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Hicks laughs off Torres sale talk
17 Jun 08 |  Liverpool


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