Fernando Torres will return to play alongside Steven Gerrard in the All-Star charity match on Sunday and ahead of the occasion, the Spanish striker has spoken of his fervent anticipation for an Anfield comeback.
The former Reds No.9 forms part of the skipper's squad for a clash with a side selected by Jamie Carragher, for a fundraising event organised by the Liverpool FC Foundation, the club's official charity.
Tickets for the game sold out instantly, while the entire fixture will be broadcast live on LFCTV HD and LFCTV GO including pre-match build-up from the ground and post-match reaction from the stars on show.
Xabi Alonso, Thierry Henry, Pepe Reina and Luis Suarez are other significant names set to participate in the match - and Torres cannot wait to partner with the latter in a potent strike force.
In an exclusive interview with Liverpoolfc.com, the 31-year-old also shares his deep respect for Gerrard, discusses his relationship with Kopites and explains why scoring at Anfield again would mean so much.
How much are you looking forward to the game on Sunday?
I'm really looking forward to meeting some of my old teammates, especially Stevie. I'm sure it's going to be a great day and night for him. And also to meet Liverpool fans again; many times I have been back to Anfield as an opponent, but this time I'm going like part of the home team. It's going to be a really emotional day for me.
What was your first reaction when you got the call and you were asked to play?
My first reaction was: 'Of course I will be there. I will do anything I can, anything in my hands, to be there with Stevie on that day.'
You left Liverpool just before Luis Suarez arrived. The fans are desperate to see you both play alongside each other. Are you looking forward to that?
Of course. I saw what Luis did in his time at Liverpool and it was amazing, just amazing. Luis is a good friend - we have a good relationship and good friendship. We were sitting together for two days at Melwood when I was leaving and he was coming. We made good friends and we are still in touch now. I also know what it means to him to go back to Anfield and play there again. It will be great to play up front with him, especially with Stevie G behind us.
You mentioned that you have returned to Anfield previously as an opposition player. Do you expect it to be different this time? It is such a special occasion, do you expect your reception to be different?
I'm not sure. I will say to everybody that what the media says about the relationship between Liverpool fans and me after I left was not the reality. Everybody knows the kind of reaction Liverpool fans had when we met on the street in London or when I went back to Liverpool - everybody gave me thanks for everything I did in Liverpool. That is what I feel for them. For me, Liverpool fans are always going to be different; I had probably the best period of my career wearing the red shirt and all my memories are great. I have nothing bad to say about them and I never will - they treated me like one of them and I felt at home in my time there. It is going to be amazing going back; hopefully the reception will be better than the one I had when I went with Chelsea. But it doesn't matter what happens really. Liverpool fans are part of my heart and my feelings - everything I felt when I was a Liverpool player is inside me and no-one is going to take that away from me.
Just what would it mean to you to score again at Anfield, in front of those supporters?
If I could do that, I would celebrate like if I was scoring in a Liverpool shirt. There are many memories, nice memories - great nights, great games, many goals scored in front of the Kop - and they made me feel like I could fly. I'm sure if I could score a goal, I can remember that kind of situation and try to enjoy it and celebrate like it's an official game.
You mentioned how desperate you are to play alongside Steven Gerrard again. This is his final season with Liverpool - how would you sum him up as a player?
I can't wait to play with Stevie again. I just wanted to have the chance to play with him, even if it is just one last time. No-one knows if it is going to be the last time, but be sure that I am going to enjoy it. I have said many times that Stevie is the best player that I have played with - by far. He was a big influence for me as a player; I had one career before I started playing with him and one career after I played with him. He changed my game and changed my motivation and ambition. He made me feel that I could really do whatever I wanted. For me, he is going to be the best forever, so to have the chance to play with him on a special day like it is going to be on Sunday, is a privilege. I want to be there on Sunday and be on the pitch with him.
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