The Inevitable Number 10


Like his opposite number in the tv series Captain Tsubasa, Óliver Torres has found his place in football thanks to his great talent and dedication.

His fate was sealed with his name. Even before his breakthrough, the name Óliver Torres & football already went hand-in-hand. His first name was chosen by his older brother in homage to the main character of Captain Tsubasa, a legendary Japanese anime series from the 80’s. As known in Spain as Óliver Atom, both him and Óliver torres -who is currently playing as a centre midfielder at Seville– had to fight from an early age to find their place in the world of football. And with a lot of commitment and sacrifice completed their goals.

Óliver Torres (Navalmoral de la Mata, 1994) stood out on local pitches from a young age, first at Club Deportivo San Andrés and then at the Morala academy. But not just that, just like his counterpart in the famous Japanese TV series, Óliver also stood out due to his lifestyle that was 100% dedicated to football. “I literally live in the streets”, mentioned the centre mid in the newspaper AS. “My parents would get angry because I would eat really quick and leave the house as soon as I could with my ball to go and play, even if I had to play alone”.

Óliver Torres kick the ball in a training session at Marcet Academy.
Óliver Torres kick the ball in a training session at Marcet Academy.

As he was entering his teen years, Extremadura was inadequate for his talent. His family knew that Óliver needed to move on to be able to progress and develop. His talent was guiding his path, but there was a risk of it being ruined through the lack of proper training. He needed a bridge to help him on his path to professional football. He needed Marcet.

When Óliver got to Barcelona he was still an U-12. At age 12 he started a personalised high performance program and he didn’t take long to start producing results. “My parents didn’t hold me back. They knew I had to leave my town”, said the midfielder in an interview with El País, in which he explains how hard it was to be far away from home at such a young age. “Being in Barcelona made me very mature and at Marcet I was lucky to be part of such an amazing family. They treated me wonderful”, he asserted in an interview with ‘Marca’.

The Extremaduran talent, who has always been a fan of Atlético de Madrid, caught the attention of FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol. But he also caught Luis Pacha’s attention, Atlético’s scout in Catalonia. After spending a year a half at Marcet, Óliver was ready to make the jump to professional football. The U-14s player wasn’t short of offers, and at the time he decided to follow his heart and move closer to home and to the team he adores. “Atlético de Madrid has a deeper meaning for me. From the first moment I stepped onto the grass of the Calderón I felt something special and you really feel these things because they’re magical. The day I made my debut in the colours of Atlético was a dream come true”.

After a few seasons in the white and red club led by Diego Simeone and his time at Villarreal in the 2013-14 season, Óliver became a key piece of Porto, both in the Portuguese league and in the Champions League, competitions where he stood out for his exquisite technique and great game vision. This was summed up by the journalist Víctor Molina Pozo in ‘Vavel’: “He always has his head up when he’s on the ball, searching for the best pass to make, with elegant style and an attitude that leaves his rivals guessing where he’s going to thread the ball through. He dictates the pace of the game, a works it like clockwork. He plays with his right foot. His left foot. His heart and his head”.

With his experience over in Portugal, Óliver returned to Spain in the summer of 2019, this time to wear the kit of Seville. With this club, Óliver signed for five seasons, with the aim of taking charge of the center of the field.

Oliver Torres playing for Sevilla.
Óliver Torres playing for Sevilla.

Now a more mature player, the 28-year-old from Extremadura won his second Europa League title with Sevilla: this crowning has a special flavor for him, as he was one of the drivers of the team that overcame clubs such as Roma, Juventus, and Manchester United, among others.

The day before the final, Oliver gave an interview to RomaPress, commenting: “After a difficult season full of challenges, reaching this final and claiming the trophy would be something wonderful and unmatched. It would be among the best days of my life. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to experience these moments and I’m proud of the journey we’ve been on to get here.”

The reward for hard work: Torres celebrates winning his second Europa League, an undisputed champion! Credits: Twitter Europa League.

After his great season on a personal level, in which he made 44 appearances between La Liga, Europa League, and Copa del Rey, rumors began to circulate of interest from Mexican club Rayados. The midfielder, who has a market value according to Transfermarkt of 9 million euros, has a contract until 2024 with the Sevillian institution.

While he awaits his future, Óliver has an extraordinary challenge ahead of him in August: the Super Cup final against Manchester City, a team Sevilla has failed to beat in four official matches.

A lot has happened since the ‘star’ from Extremadura won the Estonia European in 2012 with the U19 Spanish National Team. Taking part in the side’s first team would be the icing on the cake on an exemplary sporting career. And for Óliver, time is in no shortage. The story of the boy who bore his destiny marked in his name is still far from its end point.

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