LFC Encore: El Nino And The Five Finger Salute



Flashback: March 14, 2009
A famous win and a simple gesture that said a lot.

There are times when a player and his club feel like a match made in heaven; times when a player feels like an eternal part of its future; times when a player seems so attuned to the history of the club, he feels like one of their own. Fernando Torres and Liverpool is one such pair.

Premier League: Liverpool Beat ChelseaEver since ‘El Nino’ signed for Liverpool and left Ben Haim for dead to open his Anfield account, he had endeared himself to the fans and had become an instant hit in the red half of merseyside. His presence and his goals were a major reason why the level of anticipation in Liverpool had risen following their wonderful start to the 2008-09 season.

Come March though, the reds visited Old Trafford seven points behind the champions and on the verge of being discarded from the title race again. The pesky pundits were already cleaning their trumpets to label this another one of those pseudo-threatening seasons. A season in which, the club from merseyside, seesawed every week from being considered genuine title contenders to a side that was just a part of the permutations of the ‘big four’.

Liverpool were in great form and they needed a win and nothing less to stay in the title race. The last time a Liverpool player had scored a goal at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ was six seasons ago. So, when Ronaldo put Fergie’s side ahead from the penalty spot, there was a feeling of ‘same-old same-old’ all the way along the Mersey to Manchester.

That’s when Vidic decided to let an aimless long-ball bounce before him. Like a predator sensing his prey’s hesitancy and fear, Torres quickly saw the opportunity, pounced on the ball, left Vidic on the floor and coolly slotted home past Van Der Sar. It marked the beginning of the red revival that soon turned into the greatest victory over their North-West rivals.

But it wasn’t just the 1-4 scoreline that stood out on the day; Torres’ post-goal celebration did as well. In his moment of personal glory, he did not forget what it meant to his club. Unlike Gary Neville’s classless self-deprecating antics in front of the opposition supporters three seasons ago, Torres’ five-finger gesture was an elegant reminder of the great history of this famous football club and a show of confidence and class both, on and off the field. Five fingers he held up to the Mancs – Rome’77, London’78, Paris’81, Rome’84 and Istanbul’05.

It was a day when the lad from Madrid confirmed his place forever in Liverpool folklore. A day when the Liverpool supporters felt Fernando Torres was one of their own all along….

  • Honestly, I thought Fowler holding up [FIVE] to the Mancs after scoring against them in the Manc derby was far more massive.

    Serious Question: Why is Torres holding up his palm more important than Fowler?

    Though one doubts one will get an explanation, yet one does wonder so…

  • saurav

    a fabulous article and very well written..

  • Ankur

    Torres at this moment remains the catch of the decade for Liverpool.Seldom has he failed to step up to the occasion and deliver the goods.As far as his story goes we all know that with the temperatures rising in the premiership and Liverpool facing most of its heat(plus taking account of its below par run in the Champion’s League) it’ll be even tougher for him to stay there without an opportunity to win any silverware.
    For all we know is that the difference between him and Gerrard is that he is not married to Liverpool.

  • This guy is absolutely indespensable. There are rumours that Gerrard and Torres could be on their way out to ease off the debt pressure of Liverpool FC but one can just not imagine the future of the club without these two.

    Both of them are a class apart and that was inevitable against the clash with Blackburn FC last night. It would be extremely disappointing to see them not qualify for Champions League but if El Nino stays fit and manages to deliver that kind of finish everytime I am sure Liverpool can overcome Manchester City and Tottenham and secure the fourth place.

    The entire discussion being “This man is Liverpool’s GOD”

  • Brilliant read, wonder how long would a player of such brilliance put up with mediocrity that surrounds him.

  • Nobody

    Its a pity that none of the United players have 18 fingers!!

  • God Save The Queen

    @Nobody: Even if they did, how will that taunt a club with 18 themselves?

    @Guess who: When has anybody ever taken anything away from Fowler’s five fingered celebration? This piece was solely on Torres. And it’s significant because Torres is a foreigner. One can expect such things from Fowler.

  • Gary Neviile is a red , he hates liverpool!! LEGEND 😀

  • May be he was referring to their league position :P:P this year.. ohh wait will they even finish 5th?? Thursday nights, channel 5 😀

  • lille 1-0 pool… ahem ahem.. could it get worse?? i betcha 😀

  • Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  • Karan

    gr8 article sir very well written