Real Madrid CF defender Miguel Torres cannot wait for next week's trip to Germany after sampling only his second taste of UEFA Champions League action in the thrilling 3-2 first-leg defeat of FC Bayern München.
This has been a memorable season for Torres, who having been at the club since the age of 12, has edged his way into the first-team reckoning with the help of injuries to Fabio Cannavaro, Cicinho and Míchel Salgado. A versatile defender who can play anywhere across the back line, the 21-year-old made his senior debut against FC Dinamo Kyiv on Matchday 6 before he had even made a Primera División appearance.
His first league outing soon followed, against Real Zaragoza last month, and Torres has since played a further six league matches, appeared for Spain's Under-21s and lined up against Bayern. "I can't put into words what it felt like to play in the UEFA Champions League," Torres told uefa.com. "Some of my team-mates have already told me what the game against Bayern in Germany will be like, but I've only played a few matches in the first team so I'm just taking it step by step, game by game. The coach and all the backroom staff have given me a great opportunity and I'm really grateful."
An entertaining last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernebéu saw Fabio Capello's side take a 3-1 half-time lead thanks to two goals from Raúl González and a Ruud van Nistelrooy strike. Mark van Bommel added to Lucio's earlier effort just before the final whistle to leave the contest between two of Europe's most successful clubs finely poised. "We did a great job," said Torres. "Bayern's second goal hurt us but on the whole, the game gave us confidence. We know that we are capable of playing well and we can't wait for the second leg, because we're convinced we'll get a good result in Munich."
If Torres was understandably irked by the two goals Madrid conceded at home, he believes they will only serve to improve focus next Wednesday night in Bavaria. He said: "Our feelings about the result are mixed - we're happy with the way we played, but the second Bayern goal was hard to take. Still, it'll help us go to Germany in a more determined frame of mind." Spoken like a true veteran - of two UEFA Champions League matches.
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