Chelsea striker Fernando Torres insists the Club World Cup is one of the season's primary targets for the struggling Blues, who became the first Champions League holders to crash out at the group stage.
Tokyo: Chelsea striker Fernando Torres insists the Club World Cup is one of the season's primary targets for the struggling Blues, who became the first Champions League holders to crash out at the group stage.
Story first published on: Thursday, 06 December 2012 11:42
The Spanish forward scored twice in the Stamford Bridge side's thumping 6-1 win at home against FC Nordsjaelland on Wednesday but it was not enough to take them through to the knockout phase.
The disappointing Champions League exit came after a rocky few weeks for Chelsea, who have seen good early Premier League season form evaporate, leading to the sacking of popular coach Roberto Di Matteo.
After visiting Sunderland on Saturday, Chelsea will fly to Japan where they will start as favourites to win the intercontinental tournament in which they are featuring for the first time.
"I think it's one of the main targets we should have this season," said Torres, who has struggled for goals since his dramatic 50-million-pound ($80 million) transfer from Liverpool nearly two years ago.
"We have never been there (Club World Cup) and it's always a completely different atmosphere in Asia, not just in the crowds, especially the weather conditions and the way the South American teams approach the competition," he added.
"We will mentally prepare and hopefully we arrive there with enough time to adapt and be focused to win this tournament and take it seriously, as we should," he told FIFA.com before Chelsea's Champions League exit.
Chelsea's first match in the Japan showpiece will be at the semi-final stage on December 13 against either Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea or Mexico's Monterrey.
If they reach the final they are likely to face a mouthwatering match-up against South American champions Corinthians, with Torres saying the Brazilian side would be dangerous opponents and downplaying Chelsea's favourites tag.
"They have great players, as always with the Brazilian teams," he said.
"Maybe if they play against Chelsea, everyone in the world is watching them play and they have the chance to come to Europe. It's a great scenario for them and for us it's really dangerous."
"For me, favourite means nothing. The only thing it can add is more pressure for you. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if you're favourite or not, you have to prove it on the pitch," he added.
Chelsea interim coach Rafael Benitez won the tournament with Inter Milan in 2010, six months after taking charge of the Italian side but was sacked just days later.