On Friday morning Fernando Torres ended his football career, with his final game coming for Sagan Tosu in Japan. The striker was at his highest level playing for Liverpool, where he had one of the Premier League’s greatest rivalries with Manchester United’s Nemanja Vidic.
It all began in September 2008, when Liverpool came out on top at Anfield in a game where Vidic saw red.
Torres was at the peak of his powers when he came up against the Serbian defender and boy, did he give him a rough ride.
Six months later, the long-haired, dynamic speed merchant would tear Vidic apart again, this time at Old Trafford, where he famously tore the United defence apart with his incredible pace and power.
Vidic was sent off. Again. And this iconic rivalry kicked into gear.
Then that 4-1 drubbing at Old Trafford happened in 2009 and Torres left Vidic on his arse. Literally.
The centre-back even admitted later on in his career that he struggled to play against Torres during his glory days at Liverpool:
“Torres was a top player,” he said. “At the time, he was probably the best striker in the league. He scored a few goals against United.
“In the Premier League, I had some good games against [Didier] Drogba, sometimes bad.
“I played well against Torres one week, then one game bad, that’s the Premier League. You’re not going to be on top of your game every week.
“It’s why I like the Premier League. In one game, you’re going to be against a strong player like Drogba, the next it’ll be a Torres or [Sergio] Agüero.
“If people see me live, they say, ‘I thought you were much bigger!’ I was never big, but I gave everything in challenges.
“It’s why I never got bigger because I knew the next week I’d have Torres or Aguero, so I never spent as much time in the gym as you have to adapt to players.”
Vidić played for United from 2006 to 2014, making over 200 appearances during his time at Old Trafford and becoming a fan-favourite player.
But he never pocketed the brilliant Torres, a statement the Spaniard should be extremely proud of considering the defender’s immense talents.
Thank you for the memories, Fernando. You were one hell of a player.