Fernando Torres: Memories of the Spanish Striker on his special day
 (Photo by Laurence Griffiths via Getty Images)

His legacy may not last amongst the long line of names to enter the Chelsea cavern, but Fernando Torres will always be fondly remembered for his services at Stamford Bridge.

Turning 36 today, the Spaniard has very little room in his silverware cabinet, collecting a fine haul internationally and domestically, in no small part to the four years he resided in London, having spent several in Liverpool but without the material triumphs. 

After 174 appearances, 45 goals and three trophies, what better way to recall the Blues career of El Nino than on his special day. 

Early Expectation of El Nino

The difficulties of ignoring a striker who netted 24 league goals during his first season in England is understandable, especially as he went on to score the winner as Spain beat Germany 1-0 to win the European Championship in 2008.

Even when he was hampered by injury, Torres managed 39 goals in 70 games for the Reds before again making the Spanish World Cup squad in 2010, earning another winners medal.

Chelsea could not resist prying the formidable forward away from their rivals, and at £50 million, Torres had broken the British transfer record at the time in becoming the fourth most expensive player on the planet. 

With fine form comes heavy pressure, and considering he had only recently returned from knee surgery, the Spanish striker struggled to settle in during his early months in the capital.

His first strike for the Blues came in a 3-1 defeat to Manchester United, remembered far greater for a ghastly open goal miss. In the following league fixture, he doubled his Chelsea tally against Swansea but again was marred by a straight red card for a dangerous two footed tackle. 

Differing fortunes for Fernando

Although goals were hard to come by, Torres' work rate and ability to bring team mates into the game gave him time in terms of support from the fans, rewarded with three goals and an assist towards the tail end of March. 

Ask any Chelsea fan their fondest memory of the forward, 99% will say his equalising goal against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final, ensuring the Blues would face Bayern Munich on the Germans home ground.

Despite missing the FA Cup final victory over his former employers, Torres did make his make upon the European finale by winning the corner that was eventually headed in by Didier Drogba... the rest is Chelsea legend. 

With a new campaign came improved fortunes for the indifferent striker. He managed 22 goals across all competitions, including the opener during the Europa League crescendo against Benefica but was also dismissed for a second occasion, picking up a harsh second yellow at home to United.

Slowing down of the Spaniard

In his third and final term, Torres could only manage 11 goals, still squeezing in another dismissal for two bookable offences in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspurs. 

He managed to rack up 100 starts for Chelsea, marking the day with a double in a 3-0 win over Schalke

Clearly, the relationship was never perfect and to match his heights from Liverpool or Athletico Madrid would have been improbable, hence the eventual allowance for Torres to move to AC Milan in 2014, initially a loan turned permanent.

Torres went on to re-sign for Athletico Madrid, ending his career in Japan with Sagan Tosu before announcing his retirement last June.

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