FA Cup final: Torres has a point to prove
Fernando Torres, Glen Johnson and Raul Mereiles have something in common - all three men have played for Chelsea and Liverpool. But of the three, Torres has the biggest point to prove.
Torres swapped Anfield for Stamford Bridge in January 2011 for a British record fee of £50million, making him the third most expensive player in history behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. Chelsea were getting a proven goalscorer.
Torres scored 75 goals in 174 La Liga appearances for Atletico Madrid prior to his move to the Premier League, signing for Liverpool in the summer of 2007.
Torres quickly set about repaying the then club record transfer fee of £26.5million paid by Liverpool.
In his maiden season he became the first Liverpool player since Robbie Fowler in 1995–96 to score more than 20 League goals in a campaign.
Torres became the fastest player in Liverpool history to score 50 League goals after scoring against Aston Villa in December 2009.
However, the goals have dried up since moving to Stamford Bridge. The 28-year-old has scored just 12 times for Chelsea.
Torres took 14 games to get off the mark for Chelsea and went 24 matches without a goal this season but there are signs he is getting back to his best.
Johnson was the first signing of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea, moving to Stamford Bridge in a £6million deal following West Ham United’s relegation from the Premier League in 2003.
He made 63 appearances in all competitions during his first season at the club but fell out of favour following the arrival of Jose Mourinho, who brought Paulo Ferreira with him from Porto to play in the right-back position.
League Cup and Premier League winners' medals
Johnson won a League Cup winners’ medal and a Premier League winners’ medal at Chelsea in 2005 but he missed out on a medal the following season as Chelsea retained the League title after managing only four appearances.
A season-long loan move to Portsmouth led to a permanent switch to Fratton Park in the summer of 2007 before Liverpool snapped him up for £18million two years later.
Johnson scored the winning goal as Liverpool beat Chelsea 2-1 at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League this season.
The 27-year-old won his first trophy with Liverpool in February as the Merseysiders beat Cardiff on penalties in the League Cup final at Wembley. Johnson played the full 120 minutes and scored in the shoot-out.
Meireles arrived at Liverpool from Porto in August 2010, briefly playing with Torres before following the Spaniard to Chelsea after just 12 months on Merseyside.
Replacement for Essien
Meireles submitted a written transfer request in the last minutes of the summer transfer window and, with Chelsea looking for a midfielder following a long-term injury to Michael Essien, he signed for the London club.
He left Liverpool as the fans’ player of the year following a very successful first season in Premier League, which included scoring the winning goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
At Chelsea he was not only reunited with Torres but former manager André Villas- Boas with whom he had spent a short period of time under at Porto.
It was actually from Meireles’ assist that Torres ended his 24-game goal drought this season against Leicester City in the FA Cup.
Meireles was also on the scoresheet that day as Chelsea sealed a semi-final spot against London rivals Tottenham Hotspur with a 5–2 home win.