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Rami up to speed on marking Torres

Published: Monday 15 March 2010, 13.58CET
LOSC Lille Métropole defender Adil Rami is learning fast after marking Liverpool FC's Fernando Torres: "You can't let him turn because when he does he runs at 2,000 kilometres an hour!"
by Matthew Spiro
from Lille
Rami up to speed on marking Torres
Adil Rami kept a close watch on Fernando Torres in the first leg in France ©Getty Images

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Goals scored14
 
19
Attempts on target76
 
93
Attempts off target4
 
0
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51
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38
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143
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21
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Published: Monday 15 March 2010, 13.58CET

Rami up to speed on marking Torres

LOSC Lille Métropole defender Adil Rami is learning fast after marking Liverpool FC's Fernando Torres: "You can't let him turn because when he does he runs at 2,000 kilometres an hour!"

LOSC Lille Métropole defender Adil Rami is relishing the challenge of trying to keep Fernando Torres quiet for the second time in eight days as the Ligue 1 outfit travel to Liverpool FC looking to book their place in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

It'll be a true battle and we'll need to give it our all. But even if we concede three at Anfield and go out, I'm sure we'll have done our best
Adil Rami

Rami had been hoping to face the Spanish international three times this month after receiving a call-up to the France squad for the friendly against the UEFA EURO 2008 winners, yet the 24-year-old had to settle for a watching brief in Paris on 3 March. Eight days later the uncapped centre-back showed Les Bleus coach Raymond Domenech he is capable of competing with the best with a commanding display in Les Dogues' 1-0 first-leg victory against Liverpool.

Torres proved a handful throughout, and was unlucky not to score with a first-half header that drew a superb save from Mickaël Landreau. Yet Rami was delighted to have helped restrict the English club to only a handful of chances. "We're playing against one of the best teams in Europe and, even if they aren't in brilliant form, they still have some of the best players in the world," he told UEFA.com. "It's really nice to have a chance to measure yourself against the best and see what level you're at. Overall, we kept our focus well."

Of his own duel with Torres, Rami said he was relieved to have denied the 25-year-old space for much of the contest. "You have to be so careful with him," the Corsican-born centre-back explained. "He's good in the air, he's strong and he imposes himself. Above all, you can't let him turn because when he does he runs at 2,000 kilometres an hour! But I did pretty well. Apart from one moment in the first half when I tried to take the ball past him, I managed to keep my concentration."

Rudi Garcia's charges will now look to draw inspiration from another French team, Olympique Lyonnais, who won the home leg of their UEFA Champions League tie against Real Madrid CF 1-0 before progressing to the last eight. Rami believes they are capable of emulating that feat. "We're holding all the cards. But at the same time, we should keep our feet on the ground because if we can win at home then so can they. It'll be a true battle and we'll need to give it our all. But even if we concede three at Anfield and go out, I'm sure we'll have done our best."

Last updated: 16/03/10 13.55CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000039/match=2000952/prematch/focus/index.html#anfield+calls+rami

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