Football Monk takes a look back at the superstars from the Pre-Quarter Finals stage of the EURO 2020 competition; here, we will look closely at eight players who decided the fate of their nations in the Round of 16s. The first name on the list is Ferran Torres, the 21-year-old Spanish winger who is taking the tournament by storm.
Born in Foios, a Municipality in the province of Valencia, Ferran spent his youth at the Valencia CF academy. He joined the academy at the age of six, in the year 2006. In 2016, while still being a junior, he made his senior reserve debut for Valencia Reserves in the 3rd division league of Spain. He earned his full promotion to the reserve side a year later, making 12 appearances. He scored his first goal against Pelarada-Girona B, in a 4-1 win. That was his only goal contribution for the reserves.
Meanwhile, Ferran’s talent earned him national team call-ups for the Spanish youth teams. He made his U17 debut against Northern Ireland U17 on 19th September 2016. A year later in March, he won the European U17 championship with Spain. A few months later, he participated in the U17 world cup held in India and scored twice in the tournament. His goal against Mali U17 guided Spain to the final of the tournament. In the mega final held at the Jam-Packed Salt Lake, Ferran Started the game and came close to scoring the 2nd goal for the team. After a dramatic final, Spain lost out to England – the same opponents they defeated to clinch the U17 Euro title a few months ago.
Ferran’s magic worked again for Spain U19s. He went on to win the U19 European championships as well in 2019. His invaluable contributions came at the later stages of the competition, when his winning penalty guided Spain to the finals. He scored twice in the U19 Euro finals, helping his nation win the prestigious tournament.
Journey at Valencia
Following the exploits in the U17 world cup, Ferran caught the eyes of the big clubs, namely Barcelona and Real Madrid. Putting an end to all rumours, the youngster extended his contract at his home club, with an additional £25m Euro release clause on his contract. He made his first-team debut against Real Zaragoza in a 4-1 victory in the Copa Del Rey, assisting once after coming on as a 76′ substitute. The fairytale continued as he made his debut in the La Liga at home against Eibar. He made 13 appearances for the Bats in an erstwhile successful domestic campaign, earning a direct UCL qualification.
The next season, Ferran’s stature as a player reached further heights. He made 24 appearances for Valencia in the Laliga, scoring twice. He was mostly used as a substitute by coach Marcelino. Valencia reached the semifinals of the Europa League and also won the Copa Del Rey that season. However, he didn’t make any appearances in either the Europa League semis or the CDR final against Barcelona.
Ferran’s final season at Valencia was more of a rollercoaster ride. He made 34 appearances in the league, scoring 4 goals. He also made five assists. However, Valencia finished 9th in the league table that season, slipping out from a European spot. 19-year-old Ferran Torres reached the peak of his career at Valencia in 2019-20, scoring twice in the Champions League. One of them came against Atalanta in the RO16s, although his team was knocked out the same day.
Last Season at Manchester City
Ferran Torres moved to Manchester City on a £20.7m transfer. His first season under Pep was an eventful one, making 36 appearances across all competitions. The Spaniard scored seven goals in the Premier League, assisting twice. This includes a hat-trick against Newcastle United at the St.James’ Park. He scored thrice in his first three appearances in the UCL for the Sky Blues, earning worldwide appreciation.
Ferran won numerous titles at Manchester. These include the Premier League, English League cup as well as a Silver medal in the 2021 Champions League. He also won the Manchester City Goal of the Season award.
EURO 2020 so far for Ferran
Ferran has had a brilliant tournament so far in the EURO so far. The youngster made two starts for Spain so far, and came on as substitutes in the other two. Spanish coach Luis Enrique favours young and fast players in his team and Torres comes as the perfect player in his system. Mostly deployed at his favourable right wing position, Ferran contributed with 2 goals and a assist so far in the tournament.
Torres’ most impressive performance came against Croatia in the Round of 16. In a thriller of a match, Ferran’s brilliance drove Spain from a goal deficit to a 2 goals lead. First came the assist in the 57th minute, which Azpilicueta calmly place in the back of the net. Then, after a 20 minutes gap, the long pass from Pau Torres found Ferran with acres of space on the right wing. The number 11 hold his nerves and coolly placed the ball in the bottom corner. However, he got substituted for Mikel Oyarzabal at the 88th minute, hence missing the dramatic part of the match.