Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Floored: Fernando Torres will be out for around six weeks after knee surgery.
Floored: Fernando Torres will be out for around six weeks after knee surgery.

Torres injury forces Spain to consider Plan B

Spain striker Fernando Torres's decision to have knee surgery has handed coach Vicente del Bosque another World Cup headache.

MADRID // Spain striker Fernando Torres's decision to have knee surgery yesterday has handed coach Vicente del Bosque another World Cup headache. Liverpool's Torres is expected to be out for around six weeks, which means he should be fit just in time for the finals in South Africa which start on June 11. But with midfielders Cesc Fabregas and Andres Iniesta also recovering from injury, Del Bosque will need to ponder his back-up plans in case he thinks it too risky to take one or more of the trio if they are not fully fit.

Torres, who scored the winner against Germany in the Euro 2008 final, is a fundamental part of the Spain team, covering three roles in one package. His power and pace turn him into a goalscorer, battering ram and decoy who can unsettle the most experienced of defences. The former Atletico Madrid man has bagged a respectable 23 goals from 72 appearances, but he gives Spain a physical presence that allows his more versatile and elusive strike partner David Villa to do even greater damage.

Valencia forward Villa has amassed 36 goals from only 55 games. The explosive nature of Torres's game will make it a particularly tough decision for Del Bosque to make if doubts remain over his knee next month. "Naturally, it is a worry," Del Bosque told Radio Marca in an interview last week when asked about the growing injury list. "We have six or seven players who aren't in top shape, but we hope that in the month remaining before we have to produce our list, they will get themselves back up to full fitness.

"We have 30 or so players that we have absolute faith in and who could potentially come with us." Replacing Torres is a tall order, but Fenerbahce's Daniel Guiza has successfully carried off a similar role over the last couple of years as Spain's 'reserve' striker. Waiting in the wings for a possible call-up are Athletic Bilbao's 'Lion King' Fernando Llorente, who scored against England in a friendly last year, and Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo.

Arsenal's Fabregas cracked a bone in his right leg earlier this month, while Barcelona's Iniesta had a recurrence of a thigh muscle problem last week, but both hope to return by the end of May. Further concerns for Del Bosque include Villarreal midfielders Marcos Senna and Santi Cazorla, and Valencia's Villa and David Silva, who have all suffered with a string of injuries throughout the campaign.

* Reuters

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National