Torres could put Spain over the top

Liverpool forward Fernando Torres celebrates after scoring a goal during their UEFA Europa League...

Liverpool forward Fernando Torres celebrates after scoring a goal during their UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Second Leg football match against Befica at Anfield, Liverpool on April 8 2010. (ANDREW YATES/AFP)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:29 PM ET

To suggest the juggernaut Spanish side can not win the World Cup without the services of striker Fernando Torres would be wrong.

They have enough talent to still pull it off. Just take a peek at their skilled roster.

At the same time, having the gifted Liverpool striker on the pitch would make the task that much easier.

When South Africa 2010 officially gets underway, the health of Torres will be a daily storyline at the tournament, much to the chagrin of the Spanish coaching staff.

Indeed, LAffaire Torres stands to be a media circus each and every time Spain takes to the field.

When Torres underwent knee surgery back in April, there were strong doubts he would be available to Spain.

But on May 27, to the shock of many, Torres jogged onto the field during Spains World Cup training camp, moving freely and showing little rust.

Thats not to say he wont still suffer a setback. Or even return to peak form.

Nothing is guaranteed in a World Cup.

Still, the prospect of having Torres in the lineup will provide encouragement for the defending European champions. And its easy to see why.

Long chastised for being a talented side that could never win The Big One, Spain found itself with a shot at changing that unflattering stereotype in the Euro 2008 final against Germany.

Torres almost single-handedly accomplished that, scoring the games only goal in a 1-0 victory that gave Spain its first major trophy in 44 years.

Of course, playing the role of hero is nothing new to Torres.

Back in 2001, he booted home the winning goal versus France in the under-16 European championship. One year later, he did the same thing against Germany in the under-19 Euro championship.

The man nicknamed El Nino certainly has a flair for the dramatic, doesnt he?

As a kid, Torres wanted to become a goaltender. Fortunately for an entire country, he changed his mind, eventually developing into one of the most prolific goal scorers in the world.

Now, if he can stay healthy, Spain will be a legitimate threat to win it all in South Africa.

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THE TORRES FILE

Name: Fernando Torres, 26
Forward, Spain
Club Team: Liverpool
International Resume: 72 caps, 23 goals.
Did you know?: The last time Torres played in South Africa, he scored the fastest international hat trick in Spain history, netting three goals in the first 17 minutes of a victory over New Zealand in the 2009 Confederation Cup.


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