Creepin’ on the ‘Gram: Atlético Madrid striker Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres — he who was once Fernando Torres, only to become “Fernando Torres” — has been heavy in the news cycle lately, with endless speculation over the next phase in his career. Would he return to Chelsea? Does Jose Mourinho have his number saved as “Do Not Answer”? Can his time at AC Milan be salvaged? Does Berlusconi still wield enough power to have the goals widened at the San Siro? Would he return home to Atlético Madrid and be transformed by the light and wisdom of Diego Simeone? Does he have a degree to fall back on? How’s his 401(k) looking? Did he plan for unexpected retirement?

Lots of questions, very little investigation. Now, we know that Milan has made Torres’ loan from Chelsea a permanent move, and will immediately loan him out to Atlético Madrid. OK. Sure. As an MLS fan I usually understand the strangest of player moves and roster rules, but how one man can belong to three clubs in 48 hours is beyond me. UEFA is holding re-entry drafts on the low and not even putting the conference calls on YouTube.

To cover Fernando Torres’ story properly, we have to dig deeper. Look into who he is as a man, not just a perplexingly inaccurate striker. What role has Torres played in his own instability? Are there past traumas at the root of his crashing form? Maybe he’s been crying out for help for years, and we’ve ignored him. As with all top stories, I headed to the only place that has all the answers. The realm of coded messages and deep feelings compressed into digitized expressions of pain and longing. The only source of truth on the internet: Instagram.

Here is the new @chelseafc kit for next season #allinCFC

A photo posted by Fernando Torres (@fernandotorres) on

“Forever? For ever-ever? For ever-ever?” – André “3000” Lauren Benjamin

Forever is a mighty long time, Fernando. This picture from his Chelsea days is saying one of two things, and neither is particularly pleasant:

  1. “Forever blue,” Fernando Torres is a fatalist. When he first moved to Chelsea, he believed that his happiest days were behind him. Gone the warm family feel of his introductory stint at Atleti, or the comfort of knowing that he’d always have someone to walk with at Liverpool, Torres was now a big money star at cold, calculating Chelsea. Maybe there was regret, or thoughts that he had compromised his values and sold out. He was “forever blue.” A man laying in a symbolically broken blue shell of his former self. Sad. Alone. Asking “are you?” with out-stretched arms, looking for support and empathy in his comments.
  2. Torres commits to things way too easily. New club? Forever. New girlfriend? Forever. New sandwich spot with that good mustard? Forever. It appears that this “Forever blue” claim was the start of a disturbing pattern.

My selfie is the first one on the wall. it’s your turn to wear your second skin #alwaysacmilan @acmilan

A photo posted by Fernando Torres (@fernandotorres) on

Forever. Always. Nothing to show for such bold and passionate declarations of loyalty. Torres wants so badly to please his club that he pledges an eternity to them before the important “Where is this going?” conversation ever takes place. Maybe Fernando and AC Milan had different visions of the future. Milan could have been reluctant to get involved with a long term contract. Fernando was a great player once, but the recent past left them hesitant. It’s not that thy didn’t care about him, but they just didn’t feel the same way he did. Torres had already been through three tough separations. He thought Milan would be different. Not like those other clubs. He was ready to put down roots and grow with the Rossoneri, but they’re ready to let him go off and play with other people. Maybe in time, he’ll return and the timing will finally be right.

Happy Birthday @olydl I love you❤️ Feliz cumpleaños @olydl te quiero❤️

A photo posted by Fernando Torres (@fernandotorres) on

Fernando Torres has so much love to give. He just needs someone to accept it. Here he is with his girlfriend, on his knees, offering an astral orb projection of all his hope, dreams, and fears to her, in hopes that she will share them. Finally, someone ready to go all-in with him. Forever. Always.

. . . this woman does not appear in any more pictures on Torres’ account.

“At last, back home.” So strong, that Fernando Torres. So much heartbreak, but he remains hopeful. When he and Atlético parted ways, it was because he thought he had outgrown his hometown club. He needed to stretch his wings and see the world. While he was away, they both grew. Atlético becoming more successful, Fernando … finding himself. Now, it appears that home is where Torres needs to be to find what he’s been looking for the whole time. Funny how life works out.