Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand says that former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres was a “nasty guy” on the pitch despite his seemingly innocent nature.
In his 19 appearances against the Red Devils in his career, Torres scored four goals and provided two assists with the Spaniard only managing to come out on the winning side on six occasions.
His best time against Man Utd came during his four seasons at Liverpool with the former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker causing Ferdinand and defensive partner Nemanja Vidic a number of problems.
And as well as admitting Torres was a “great player”, Man Utd legend Ferdinand insists the current Atletico Madrid under-19 coach could be a “nasty guy”.
“Torres was hard, I was talking about this the other day. He was quick, he was strong, aggressive, ran in behind, did all the stuff you didn’t want,” Ferdinand said on his FIVE Youtube channel.
“I was talking to [Rafa] Benitez about him actually, and he actually was a nasty guy sometimes on the pitch. Great player.
“He stamped on my foot once, and at half-time I had about four or five stitches in my foot, the ball wasn’t even there.
“So he had an aggressive nature. But I enjoyed games against him. Drogba didn’t actually make the game as hard for me, but he scored big goals against us.”
When pushed for an answer on who was the better player, Ferdinand added: “I’m going to go Drogba because of the big goals he scored, but Torres was harder.”
Liverpool have a new hero now in Darwin Nunez – who scored two goals in the Reds’ recent 7-0 thumping of Man Utd at Anfield – and former boss Rafa Benitez has likened the Uruguay international’s development to that of Torres.
“My feeling is you are watching the game — as a manager you are really worried,” Benitez said last month while working as a pundit on Sky Sports.
“He has the pace to do that and run in behind. For you as a manager, he is someone you have to worry about then he will finish.
“When Fernando Torres first came to Liverpool, he struggled with putting chances away — he was a great player but he wasn’t a great finisher. We worked with him and in time he became the Fernando we knew.”
Jamie Redknapp, who was also working on Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Newcastle, added: “I think he’s a player. When you have that devastating pace he’s such an outlet, like Torres.”
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