Torres and his friends
Oscar, Juli, Hugo, Elias and Angel are Fernando Torres’ closest friends. They all shared a chat in which we discovered more things about what Fernando is like off the pitch
FT: I’ve known Oscar for 25 or 30 years (laughs). I don’t know. For a long time.
Oscar: Since we played together in Infantiles (Under 13).
FT: And I met Hugo in the Madrid Team. At that time they took anyone on, as you can see. And I went to school with Elias in Fuenlabrada.
Hugo: We met each other through football.
FT: What we didn’t know was that Hugo wasn’t on his own, the package included Juli, who was like his boyfriend.
Juli: I knew Hugo from my neighbourhood.
Hugo: That’s true. But now we are divorced.
Angel: And then I came into the picture. I met Oscar through football, and through him I met the rest.
Hugo: I remember Fer had freckles, too many… and his Calimero-like hair-style.
FT: At least I had a style. Hugo’s hair looked like a sheep’s. But he wasn’t the only one who didn’t have a style, Elias had a middle parting.
Elias: Can you imagine Fernando shorter and skinnier...?
Juli: With loads of freckles and pudding-bowl cut blonde hair.
Elias: He was very naughty and very lucky. One day the teacher caught him copying and she said: “It doesn’t matter, but don’t do it again”. And all because of his pretty face. The rest of the class complained because he got off, but nothing happened.
Oscar: He was always up to something but never got found out. He was the worst of all of us, but he always came up smelling of roses while the rest of us got caught.
FT: I was the only serious one in this group.
Elías: Then, outside the classroom, he was great. I remember you asked someone from the neighbourhood for his Identity Card so that you could get into a discotheque and pick up a girl.
Oscar: We had a great time. We’ve got all kinds of stories. Remember that time when we were robbed, they took everything, even our bus passes.
FT: Of course I remember it. How pathetic, to steal some kids’ bus passes.
Hugo: The robbery was at the time I met you.
FT: yes, yes, and we thought that you were going to protect us, being so big.
Juli: Hugo was the baddy of the group.
Elías: The thing is that we have always got on really well, even though we all have our faults.
Juli: Yes, but here we are only talking about Fer’s faults, because this is his page.
Elias: What I can’t cope with about Fernando is when he gets wound up about something, because everything said about him is exaggerated, and you don’t know how to help him.
Angel: Anyway it’s normal because thing are happening very quickly in his life and he’s coping with it the best he can.
Oscar: It’s true. At 20, he’s a great footballing star. But even when he was younger he was outstanding. In Infantiles he scored 65 goals or something. Incredible !! And things were made difficult for him and obstacles put in his way by bringing in people that in theory had to play, because the club had made a big investment in them, paying their accommodation, studies and so on. But Fernando always ended up playing and showing that he was the best.
Juli: It is very difficult to cope with all this things that have happened to him the way he has done. He has always been very professional. A crack on the pitch and off.
Angel: And today that means tickets and clothes for us.
Hugo: And Atletico sweatshirts.
Oscar: Not just that. When we’ve been out to a night club, he’s taken us to the VIP area. And since then, they’ve let us in because they know us and they know that we are Fernando Torres’ friends.
FT: What they do is become friends of the owner. Then they can get into every night club for free.
Oscar: Well, it’s also great to be able to go to the football all together, because it’s not easy for a group of friends to get an executive box.
FT: And also for picking up a girl. But Oscar has never needed that, he’s always very successful. He’s a heart-breaker.
Oscar: It’s true about picking up a girl, because you’re carrying a photo, the typical one of a group of friends with Fer in it. Then they start getting interested and asking things... they take the bait.
Juli: What a story. To tell the truth, as a group of friends we’ve done pretty well. Not a long ago I had a car accident and I broke my shoulder. They all gave me a lot of support.
FT: It was an accident that brought us all even more together. We were always at his side.
Elias: I was the one who showered him.
Hugo: And I had to hold the potty for him. You can’t imagine how it burned. And we bought him a beautiful suit.
FT: A gold coloured shirt and a pareo.
Ángel: yes, he looked great.
Juli: We have had good and bad times together.
Elias: And one thing that really surprises people is that when we get together we don’t talk about football. Actually we rarely talk about it at all, although we are all connected to this sport. We might ask Fernando about this player or that coach, but we hardly ever talk about pieces of action in his games.
Oscar: That’s because we all live surrounded by football, you spend the whole day in that kind of atmosphere and you feel like switching off.
FT: We don’t talk about matches.
Oscar: If we do ever talk about a game, we have a laugh about it. We try not to go on about it, because he has enough of it during the day without carrying on when he gets together with his friends.
Elias: Sometimes I speak to Fernando on the phone and he askes me how things are in the club or what’s going on, but nothing related to the game.
FT: When I’m with my friends I forget about football. If I am training I’m focused 100 %, but when the training is over, so is the football. When we go out , we talk about ourselves.
Juli: Sometimes that is the hardest thing, to be able to get together.
FT: It is difficult for all of us to get together. Sometimes we see each other every day of the week and then we don’t get together in a whole month.
Elias: It’s very relative to talk about all of us getting together. Even when we can’t, he’ s everywhere: in the papers, on TV, adverts, and so on.
Angel: We try to read everything that comes out about Fernando, though it’s not difficult to be up to date because he is in all the media. There are also people that know that I’m a friend of Fernando’s and everytime they see me they ask me if I have seen this or that article.
Hugo: I haven’t got used to it. I don’t’ see him as a great football star, which he is one, but as my lifelong friend.
Elias: In spite of everything, we’re always laughing and joking. We’re lucky to have things that other groups of friends don’t have. We can go to football matches together, or be with a friend at his own home.
Juli: Yes, the worst thing is when someone has a go at Fernando. There’s always someone around saying something against him, but in time you learn to ignore people’s criticism. If someone criticises him, it’s because he doesn’t know him.
Oscar: Fernando has been in my neighbourhood a thousand times playing on the streets when he hadn’t yet got into the first team. Then they criticised him because he was playing for Atletico. Now when they see me they say: “say hello to your friend for me”.
Hugo: You can really notice when people know that you know Fernando. They treat you differently. But we all try to take it as normal.
Angel: We know everything that moves around Fernando, but we still behave as if nothing has changed and we try to do the same things that we always have.
FT: Yes, the same old messing about, too.