Transfer record smashed as Torres signs in

04 July 2007

One of the defining moments of the Rafalution came in the summer of 2007 as Liverpool smashed their transfer record to land Spanish international striker Fernando Torres.

As El Nino put pen to paper on a deal costing £20million, the world's media scrambled through the Shankly Gates for one of the most exciting unveilings Anfield had ever witnessed.

Here was a player who oozed class on and off the pitch. Power, pace and boyish good looks: Torres appeared to have it all.

The red half of the city was understandably buzzing, with adoring fans greeting the new boy at John Lennon Airport. The feeling was most definitely mutual.

Clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal had shown an interest, but after revealing the phrase 'We'll Never Walk Alone' on the inside of his captain's armband while playing for Atletico Madrid, it was clear Torres had his heart set on Anfield.

Just minutes after signing on the dotted line, he told "I want to say thank-you, because from day one people have been trying to meet me at Melwood. I've also seen some at the airport. They all seem to be behind me.

"This was the biggest decision of my footballing life but I've come to a winning club. This is a club of champions - one of the biggest there is. I now want to play my part in that and be a champion too and help the club progress. 
"I'm aware of the history and how special this club is. The tragedies that have happened have made the bond between the fans and the club so strong.

"Liverpool just ticks all the boxes for me. There's team spirit and a desire to win instilled by Rafa. Pepe Reina, Xabi Alonso and Luis Garcia have always spoken very positively about life here in Liverpool.

"I've spoken to many people about it and watched many DVDs, now I am dying to play in front of the Kop."

Torres was handed the number nine shirt vacated by Scouse legend Robbie Fowler.

Undaunted, within a year he'd become the first Red since Fowler in 1996-97 to break the 30-goal barrier.