Over the past two weeks a lot has been written about the transfers in European soccer. Everyone and their grandma has given opinion and other contributions about the subject. I don’t want to elaborate on all these transfers again. However, Fernando Torres’ transfer from Liverpool to Chelsea is still working to sink in.
Torres this week has declared that he never kissed any club’s badge. Not in the past and he will not in the future. Well, he doesn’t have to do that, but dear Fernando, lack of passion for what
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you do and your job is a problem. It speaks for Torres that he openly states his opinion about the way he takes his job, so everyone can get a picture of his work style. Lack of passion for your job, however, is not a good thing. That doesn’t only count for professional soccer players, that counts for everyone in any work situation. Just think about it: If you have a problem identifying yourself with what you do and for whom you do it, how good can you really be? Back to soccer, lack of passion and identification is clearly a problem. That you are able to juggle the ball 3,000 times in a phone booth or run the 100 meters in 3 seconds is nice, but especially in professional soccer you need to put more on the table. Most do, and therefore do better than you. Being successful in professional soccer needs a chain reaction of different things: Ability, fitness, willpower, determination and luck. Once you have that in a row, you will make it in. If you take a look at Torres’ history, that’s how he made it up the ranks. Becoming a top player was a lot of work and cost him a lot of sweat and tears. And I am willing to take every bet here, without passion for what he was doing and his club at the time, he would have never made it that far.
Once you are a superstar, you need to remember first an old saying: “It is much easier getting up there, than staying on top”. I believe here is the issue in Torres’ case. A lot of factors play a role in a soccer players career. Influences from the outside, such as press, fans, coach, change in private life and other things beside the soccer field need to be considered, while you need to maintain all the stuff from your journey on the way up. In my opinion, it is no coincidence that Torres scored almost half of all his Liverpool goals in the first year at Anfield Road. And there is a reason that his performance curve since the Euro 2008 was on a steady road downwards. That the 08-09 season wasn’t overly successful can be blamed on the situation after the Euro 2008. A lot of top players have problems to find form after big tournaments. However, I claim that not coming back to top form has a mental reason and might very well be linked to his attitude towards his job. If you take a look at the last games before his transfer to Chelsea, there was a difference in attitude on the field. Whatever the motivation was for that, we can all speculate about it, there was one and it changed his game.
Now Torres is at Chelsea and is trying to score goals and have a better game. I am very interested in seeing how this turns out. My tip for Torres: Change your attitude, identity yourself with what you are doing and for whom your are doing it. Consider Chelsea’s and your fellow teammate’s goals as well. Once you do that, you will find a lot of common interest and then you can accomplish goals together. Good luck.
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