Ferran Torres has said that Pep Guardiola “is one of the best coaches in the world” following his unveiling at Barcelona.
Having left Manchester City last month in a transfer worth a reported €55m (£46m) plus add-ons, Torres was unveiled at Camp Nou on Monday morning.
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Facing the media afterwards, he was asked to reflect on his time with the former Barcelona boss and club legend. Guardiola managed Barca between 2008 and 2012, winning La Liga in three out of his four seasons in charge, the Champions League twice and numerous other trophies, having also made 382 appearances for the club as a player.
“Guardiola is one of the best coaches in the world,” Torres said. “He made me play in different positions, so I’ve learned to play as a forward.
“I will take many nice memories of my time at City, things I’ve learned. He advised me that I face this next challenge with lots of enthusiasm, with humility and with excitement.”
Asked where he sees himself playing for Barca, the 21-year-old admitted that he prefers to be deployed out wide as opposed to through the middle.
“It’s true that I came as a forward from City, but I’ve always said that my best position is on the right wing,” he said.
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“But the great thing is that I can play across various positions, I can adapt well, and I will play in the position that the coach says I have to play. It doesn’t matter to me which position he asks [of me].”
As a Spain international, Torres’ game has been influenced by another former Barca player and manager in Luis Enrique. “Playing for two coaches with Barcelona roots, Enrique and Guardiola, has helped me to adapt to the Barca DNA,” he said. “I’m looking forward to putting myself under Xavi Hernandez’s orders.”
Torres hasn’t played since October after picking up a foot injury on international duty, but insisted that his recovery is “going well”. He suggested he would be available for selection when Barca face Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the Supercopa de Espana next week.
With Barca in the midst of an ongoing financial crisis and struggling to work around La Liga’s spending limits, they have not been able to officially register Torres thus far. He said he was “calm” about the situation, however, with “the club doing all it can”.
It has been widely reported that Barca will have to sell players before they can complete Torres’ registration. Asked how the club hierarchy intends to resolve the issue, director of football Mateu Alemany said: “The truth of the situation is that when we signed Ferran Torres we knew we did not have room in terms of salaries.
“However, we have been making moves in different areas and we are convinced we can register him.”
With Barcelona currently fifth in La Liga, out of the Champions League and facing a difficult season both on and off the field, Torres has joined a club which is at a low ebb. Xavi faces a monumental rebuilding job on limited resources, with Alemany conceding that any additional arrivals in January will necessitate further departures.
Speaking about his hopes for the future, Torres said: “When I left Manchester City I had the idea of coming back to La Liga and Barca showed an interest. I am an ambitious player and I like a challenge. I want to take Barca back to where it belongs.”
Joining Torres at his post-unveiling press conference, Barcelona president Joan Laporta heralded him as “a great player” and an exciting signing for the club.
“We knew about Ferran’s situation and we were very pleased that he wanted to come to Barca so much,” he said.
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