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Ferran Torres on Chelsea, Guardiola and his UEFA Champions League final mindset

The Blues are "a pain in the neck" for City's joint-top scorer in this season's UEFA Champions League.

Ferran Torres celebrates after scoring in this season's UEFA Champions League
Ferran Torres celebrates after scoring in this season's UEFA Champions League Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Signed from Valencia in summer 2020, Ferran Torres has had an extraordinary first season at Manchester City, winning the Premier League title and reaching the final as the club's top UEFA Champions League scorer, with four goals.

The 21-year-old's winning mentality is showing through, but he tells UEFA.com he is continuing to learn under Pep Guardiola, and is determined that City will do themselves justice in the decider against Chelsea.

On his ‘refuse to sink’ tattoo

Every Man. City goal en route to the final
Every Man. City goal en route to the final

It’s a tattoo that I got with my sister and my cousin, and it means just that; that I refuse to sink whatever the circumstances are and what may happen. You have to step up and turn the situation around, and I think it’s a phrase that means a lot to the three of us.

That’s the mentality players should have, to try and be the best that they can be, and even become the absolute best. That’s what I work towards every day both on and off the pitch, with my diet, what I drink, gym work. It’s not only important to try and be the best [player] but it’s also about prolonging your career.

On working with Pep Guardiola

If you want to be the best, you have to work with the best and he is currently the best manager in the world for everything that he has accomplished, and for what he has been doing at City. Above all else, for how he involves himself with you, for how he helps you to improve, and for how he tries to help the team. If he needs to stay another half hour so that you get it right, he will. He lives for this and devotes all of his time to football, which I think makes all the difference.

Torres' Valencia drew 2-2 with Chelsea in 2019
Torres' Valencia drew 2-2 with Chelsea in 2019Getty Images

I’d say he’s turned me into a completely different player from the one I was before coming here. He’s helped me play in practically every attacking position, whereas in the past I only played on the right-hand side. The more versatile a player is, the more chances he has to play and the better footballer he is. I’m still learning from him every day.

On his pre-final routine

If I said you have to approach it as if it were just any other game, I’d be lying. As soon as you get up, you know it’s a special day. But at the end of the day you have to approach it as calmly as possible and stay very focused on the match. You can do your rituals, if you have any, or take a nap if that’s your thing. You do what you’d do any other day.

Will they be watching the game in the place where I grew up? Foios is a little village, but I think people will be watching it, supporting me and supporting City, because they’re great supporters.

On Chelsea

City and Chelsea set for final showdown
City and Chelsea set for final showdown

They’re a pain in the neck, in a good way, since they’re always chasing the ball. They run a lot and they want the ball. They don’t just go for counterattacks, they also want to take the ball off you, which deserves some credit. City are a team which likes to have the ball, and it’s sometimes very hard to take it from us, but they’ve done a great job against us. In fact, they’ve beaten us twice. I mean, you never know in a [UEFA] Champions League final.

We’re one of the best teams in the world, [so] we have to try and win it all. We’ve won the Premier [League], which is a very hard task – you have to work hard throughout the whole season to achieve it. But a Champions League final [win] would be like the icing on the cake. City have never won one, which is an extra motivation, and we’re going to work hard in this final sprint. And we’re going into it feeling really excited, because above everything else it’s about enjoying it.