Like his opposite number in the tv series Captain Tsubasa, Óliver Torres has found his place in professional 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 FC Porto—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”.

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 years playing for the Rojiblanco’s lead by Diego Simeone and a short stint at Villarreal CF during the 13-14 season, Óliver joined his current club, FC Porto which he joined in the 14-15 campaign. The Portuguese club’s number 10 is a key part of Sérgio Conceicão’s line ups, in the Portuguese league as well as the Champions League. He stands out in these competitions thanks exquisite technique and great vision. This is how the journalist Víctor Molina Pozo from Vavel summed him up. “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”.

Óliver was also called up to the international scene with Spain’s U-19s, with which he won the 2012 European Championship in Estonia. A year later he was called-up for the first time to the U-21s, making his debut in a friendly against Belgium. His inclusion into the senior squad would be the icing on the cake for his exemplary athletic career. Luckily Óliver has time on his hands. The story of the kid who already had success in his name is far away from his final chapter.

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