Spain coach Vicente del Bosque: Dropping Fernando Torres was difficult

The 27-year-old forward has been axed from the national team for the first time in five years in light of his poor goal-scoring form with Chelsea this season
Spain boss Vicente del Bosque has revealed that it pained him to omit Fernando Torres from his squad for Wednesday's friendly against Venezuela but felt he had no other option in light of the Chelsea striker's dramatic dip in form.

The 27-year-old has scored just five goals in all competitions for the Blues since arriving at Stamford Bridge in January of last year for a reported fee of €58.5 million.

Del Bosque felt that he simply could not justify including Torres in his 24-man squad ahead of fellow forwards Iker Muniain, Roberto Soldado, Fernando Llorente and Alvaro Negredo.

"He is a lad we appreciate a great deal and it pains me to leave him out but I wanted to be fair," the former Real Madrid boss told The Independent. "His performances recently have been a bit irregular.

"It is always a problem when a striker is not finding the net. It makes it difficult for them; we see that there is an issue.

"We have not been in contact with Fernando daily for a while but there is a lot of time and plenty of chances for him to find his touch before the Euros."

With David Villa still out injured with the broken leg he sustained during Barcelona's Club World Cup campaign, Del Bosque admitted that Torres' loss of form is not ideal with Euro 2012 just around the corner.

"Every player is better off if his team is playing well and the system is working and it is a system they fit into," Del Bosque mused, alluding to Chelsea's inconsistent displays under new coach Andre Villas-Boas this season.

"If things are going well at a club, it is a much better environment to be working in.

"We have watched Fernando at his new club and we see that he is fighting and that he is enthusiastic.

“We hope that in the next four months he can start scoring and we will make a decision on his position in the side based on how he does in that time.

“Things are not going well but situations can turn around quickly."

Spain goalkeeper Pepe Reina is also of the opinion that his former Liverpool team-mate will rediscover his goal-scoring touch.

"I talk a lot with Fernando and it's a difficult time for him but I think that he will arrive [at the Euros] safely," the Reds stopper told MARCA.

"But then, it is
the coach who will make the list."

Torres has scored 27 goals in 91 appearances for his country, including the winner in the Euro 2008 final victory over Germany.

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