Fernando Torres has lost none of his affection for former club Liverpool, despite his move Premier League rivals Chelsea meaning that he is no longer the icon that he once was at Anfield.
The striker spoke of his love for the team and the area in the wake of recent and ongoing revelations regarding the Hillsborough tragedy and its subsequent cover-up, an ordeal that has greatly affected the city of Liverpool over the past 23 years.
"When I heard about Hillsborough I got excited, as I have known a lot of people who lived that, who cried with that ... somehow, I made it mine," Torres told El Pais.
Speaking about football matters, Torres reiterated his appreciation for the time that he spent at Liverpool, singling out the club's fans and former manager Rafa Benitez for specific praise. The striker also hinted that the "truth" surrounding the circumstances of his departure is still not a matter of public knowledge.
"I owe very much to Liverpool, their fans, Benitez ... Liverpool is a big part of my life. I know I'm not well-considered now but I'm sure that will change in the future," Torres said.
He added, "Finally, I decided to leave because it was a step in my career. It was not the best way of leaving but it was not the way they sold it. Someday people will know the truth."
Torres' performances since leaving for the Blues have attracted plenty of criticism but the Spaniard also discussed how he has learned to pay little attention to his detractors.
"The scars hurt in the beginning," he revealed. "but then you learn you're not alone on this. Social networks show you how people follow and support you. But yes, there is a moment you tend to protect yourself.
He added, "I learned the critics couldn't hurt me, I just had to know how to take advantage of them. You're the only one who can say: 'You're getting wrong; you have to react'.
"I'm not the same who left Madrid some years ago but I still keep the values I learned there. I've been lucky as I started very young. One can think he knows everything but you don't."