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Ferran Torres celebrated his first ton of appearances for FC Barcelona on Sunday, and did so in tremendous style by scoring a hat-trick away to Real Betis. He spoke to us about his brilliant form, mental development and his 'shark' nickname in our exclusive interview. Read on...
What does making it to 100 games mean to you?
"It's a dream come true. Just coming here was a dream and to play 100 games in this shirt makes me very happy. I want to help this club as much as I can and hope to stay here for many more years".
What moments to you cherish the most?
"I'd say my first goal at San Mamés, which also came after a long injury. And I'll pick a 2x1, which is the two titles, the Super Cup and Liga, that we won. And the third, rather than a moment is a period, the start of this season when I've hit my best form, with a changed mentality, getting over a difficult time when I was struggling to get playing time, but I was able to change a difficult situation and earn more chances and take them. So people know that nothing is impossible, and if you work hard, it will come in the end".
"People should know that nothing is impossible, and if you work hard, it will come in the end"“ Ferran Torres
With 25 goals, you are the second highest scorer under Xavi. What's your relationship with the coach? What has Xavi done for your career?
"Most of all, at first, his faith to bring me here and entrust me with being part of this project. I am very grateful to him and his staff, who ultimately have always supported me and that shows on the pitch".
That first goal at San Mamés was in a game the team ended up losing. Now we are going there again, is this the chance to close the circle, for you to score in game 101 at the San Mamés only for the outcome to be different this time?
"If course I was glad to get my first goal but not with the end result. Now we are going back to that stadium and the idea is to advance to the next round of the cup and keep achieving targets".
Your goal in Salamanca meant you have scored more goals this season already than you did in all of last season, and then you got a hat-trick at Betis. That's 11 goals this season. How is your confidence?
"I think I'm in the best form of my career. I've never been so self-confident. Mentally, I am much stronger".
How important is mentality and the process you went through?
"I learned that it's all about mentality. That's what creates that self-confidence that's so important to feel right both on and off the pitch. As well as working hard, staying humble and being consistent. It's discipline that gets you to stand out from the rest".
How does that individual mentality get transferred to the team? How can your example influence other players whose morale might be low?
"I try to keep the team united. To make jokes, make sure everyone is looked after, and contribute my experience. I am still young but thanks to God I have experience for dealing with the trickier parts of a season".
How has Ferran Torres changed in these 100 games?
"I'm very different. Both personally and as a player, things have changed. When it comes to dealing with things. You learn a lot in two and a half years, and it's about constant improvement, which you will always get at a club like Barça. You need to improve constantly and learn every day".
And where would you like Ferran Torres to be two years from now?
"Hungry to improve and win titles for this team and helping in any way I can".
"I was so proud when they chanted my name for the first time at Montjuïc"“ Ferran Torres
Your mentality is reflected by the 'shark' nickname. A few days ago in Salamanca there was girl called María with a cuddly shark. The day of the open doors training session there was a lad dressed as a shark. How has the squad reacted to the shark thing, are there many jokes?
"There were jokes at first but now it's part of my lifestyle. Mentality is important to me and my team-mates see me as an example to follow, someone who has turned around a difficult situation, and that motivates them to do the same".
Finally, a message for the fans, who have supported you through all of this.
"I was so proud when they chanted my name for the first time at Montjuïc. I know they are there for me and the team. I want them to be calm, to know that we are very united and that we need the fans more than ever... But we will bring them a lot of joy this season".
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