Chelsea’s 50 million pound ($82.94 million) misfit Fernando Torres accepts that it is his responsibility to force himself into a position where the Spaniard is manager Jose Mourinho’s number one striker.
Torres told an English newspaper on Saturday that he wanted to see out the remaining two years of his contract at Stamford Bridge and was confident he could still be in Brazil with Spain for the World Cup finals in June.
Mourinho, who has been highly critical of his strikeforce this season, said on Friday that 30-year-old Torres still had a place at Chelsea despite putting the striker on the bench for this week’s Champions League defeat at Paris St Germain.
“(He) puts me on the pitch when he thinks I am the best option and on the bench when he thinks I am not the best option,” Torres said in an interview in the Independent on Saturday.
“My aim is to try to make him feel I am always the best option for him.
“You have to have ways to adapt to this situation. Blame the manager? Blame your team mates? Blame everyone? Or ask from yourself a bit more. I think I can do better.
“I can make Jose think I am the best option. That is what I have to do every day in training, all the matches. I just ask of myself the responsibility.”
Torres has scored nine goals in 33 appearances this season and has rarely approached the heights of his time at Atletico Madrid and Liverpool since breaking the British record transfer fee to join Chelsea in 2011.
“You have to prove yourself every day,” Torres added. “You have to live for today. Three years ago? Five years ago? It’s today.
“If the manager thinks there is another player better than you he is going to play and this is the way.
“You have to try to improve and keep fighting and try to change the manager’s mind. Hopefully one day Jose can say ‘This is my striker, he is going to be my striker’ like he does with some of the players who have won the appreciation from him.”
That short-term outlook could also help Torres in his ambition to return to the Spain squad for the World Cup, having helped his country to successive major championship triumphs at Euro 2008 and 2012 as well as the 2010 World Cup.
“Of course I can make it. Football is about the last month and a half and that is going to be very important,” he said.
“I love to play for my country and I have been lucky enough to be in two Euros and a World Cup.
“We made history. No one did it before, three in a row, and we continued…