Spain captain Torras bows out
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
A legend of the game at just 33, Spain captain Torras has decided to call time on his international career after 131 appearances and many memorable futsal successes.
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Spain captain Torras has announced his decision to retire from international futsal. At 33, the experienced left-footer ends a career filled with success that brought two FIFA Futsal World Cups and four UEFA Futsal EUROs during his 131 appearances for La Roja. UEFA.com chatted with the FC Barcelona player about his achievements and also heard his views on how the sport is developing.
UEFA.com: Was your decision to retire from the international game already taken before the recent UEFA Futsal EURO in Antwerp where Spain's title was lost in the semi-finals?
Jordi Torras: It's a decision that I hadn't concretely made but one that I had contemplated. The fact I suffered a [knee] injury in Antwerp [ruling him out of the knockout phase] had nothing to do with the decision, quite the opposite in fact. The day after I was hurt, I thought: "It cannot finish like this." However, after thinking things through in the cold light of day, it's what I wanted.
It would have been a nice incentive [to continue at 33] but I am doing well with Barcelona and I want to retire in a good way here. I don't want to be crawling around futsal pitches. I don't know if the extra effort made with the national team would affect my club performances. Playing another EURO and World Cup, as well as all the games with Barcelona, would have been very hard.
UEFA.com: How would you rate these past 14 years with the Spanish national team?
Torras: I would rate them very positively. With the national side I improved after a slow start. I don't just mean in terms of trophies won, I mean in terms of me as a player. I learned so much from all of the players I shared the dressing room with down the years. They helped me to grow as a player and, above all, as a person. The values that the national team hold are very important. In the past 14 years I have played some very important games. We were world champions. That feeling of pressure when you put on the Spain shirt was what I liked most. It was a great honour and a huge pride to play for Spain.
UEFA.com: Which Spain team-mate has been most important to you over the years?
Torras: I remember my debut and how these huge figures in the game welcomed me into the team. I was just a kid and was there to grow and learn from the old dinosaurs like Julio Mera and Javi Sánchez – which I did. Later, I enjoyed my time a lot more with that second generation of players like Luis Amado, Kike and Álvaro Aparicio. I shared a lot of memorable moments with them.
UEFA.com: Kike, Luis Amado, Álvaro and now you, have all hung up your international boots. How do you view this generational change?
Torras: It's going really well. After suffering my injury, I was able to enjoy the games at the EURO from the stands. The ambition, eagerness and attitude of our young players against Slovenia, Russia and Portugal was incredible. We can rest easy as the new boys desperately want to ensure that Spain continue making history. More new names will come but the block that exists now will bring plenty of joy.
UEFA.com: How has the game evolved these past 14 years?
Torras: In our domestic Liga there haven't been drastic changes. Futsal is a little more physical nowadays, you just have to see how the national team play. The main difference I see is in our rivals. We remain up there at the top but the other teams have grown so much. Sides that had previously never been at a World Cup or EURO are now mounting a serious challenge. It could be that the models laid down by Spain and Brazil have had their influence. We have also exported coaches and players who have imparted their knowledge. There are no longer just two or three big teams, now seven or eight can look to be champions.
UEFA.com: Great players like Javi Rodríguez, Marcelo and Portugal's Arnaldo have decided to try their luck abroad. Do you have a similar move in mind?
Torras: No. My aim is to retire here. I don't want to leave. If at some point I have to, then we'll see, but I want to finish up at Barcelona. My decision to retire from international futsal was designed so I can enjoy my last years here. The club have given me that opportunity and it's what I want.
I'd like to comment a little on the coaches I have had with Spain, Javier Lozano and José Venancio López. It was a real pleasure and a luxury to have been in a dressing room with them. They are two coaches who have different approaches but they both have the same end goals, which are to win and to be the best. I have to thank them for the confidence they have shown in me over the years. If it wasn't for them, none of this would have been possible.