Fernando Torres pens open letter to the late Luis Aragonés
Chelsea striker, Fernando Torres was deeply affected by the tragic loss of former Spanish national team manager, Luis Aragones, who passed away early Saturday morning after a battle with Leukemia and the Spanish international shared his thoughts and anecdotes on the man who guided him throughout his entire professional footballing life.
In a letter published by Spanish newspaper, El Mundo, Torres spoke about the experiences he shared with Aragones at Atletico Madrid and the continued guidance he received at the national team level.
“When you’re a kid and just getting your start in football, you have grand illusions, dreams you think that one day will come true because you think you can do everything. Since I was 10 years old, I’ve seen teammates, with much more going for them than I had, get left on the side of this road. And this is nothing more than a learning process that is accelerated when you become a professional at the age of 17 and stat seeing that the football you had come to know had nothing to do with professional football. Then Luis appeared in my life. He is my professor of football, the one who but a stop to my ambitions until I was prepared, the one who mentored me and explained to me which teammates are the ones who really appreciate me and those that are only out for their own interests and how the media works at this level. He reinforced the values that I had learned throughout my life, before and during football. He told me every day, “¡Niño!, you don’t know anything,” So, over time, I realised that what he was doing was because he was very fond of me. Honestly, I never saw him do this with another player. We was preparing me so I could go where I wanted to go and was preparing me because of the love he had for me and always had. He believed in me. In our second spell together, he did with the Spanish national team what he did with me before. He brought our head out of the clouds and told us: “There’s no room for egos, you lads aren’t better than anyone until you start to become a team” This was a bumpy process, with enemies on the road that we left behind with the conviction from one who knows that you have to pass through this to reach your goal. And when we finally understood this, his speech about being able to be champions of Europe was no longer a speech but a tangible objective. We started to believe in our football, which is the first step in making your difficult dreams come true. And this was when we were at our lowest, when we weren’t getting results and the doubts from outside crept in more than ever before, but we lived in a bubble that Luis created especially for us and for us alone. This strategy had a happy ending and we made history, just as the man had changed the history of Spanish football, the one who made us dream, believe, fight and win. ‘Win, Win and Win,’ he shouted before touched the ball in every game. Today, he is no longer with us, but those who knew him have already won. Those who learned from got back to their winning ways and those who have read this today and are left with tears in our eyes give thanks because we’re winning, and will probably always win. You’ll never be gone; you leave us with your indelible legacy. Thank you, old man. Rest In Peace.”