Barcelona reinstated their eight-point lead at the top of the La Liga table on Sunday with a comfortable victory over Cadiz, despite Xavi Hernandez opting to rest several key first team players.
The likes of Ronald Araujo, Franck Kessie and Raphinha were all benched with Thursday’s Europa League knockout round second leg against Manchester United in mind, and that allowed for squad players to be given an opportunity.
Eric Garcia had an excellent game in central defence, but Barcelona’s star against Cadiz was Ferran Torres. The 22-year-old has had a tough season at the Blaugrana, having been reduced to a squad player in favour of the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembele.
However, Torres was in sensational form against Cadiz, and has staked his claim for a start in Manchester this week, with Barcelona likely to change away from their four midfielder system due to Pedri’s injury and Gavi’s suspension.
Ferran Torres returned to form against Cadiz in a big way:
Most chances created
Most duels (won 18)
10/13 successful dribbles
3/3 aerial duels won
15/21 ground duels won
The first player to complete 10 dribbles in La Liga this season. #fcblive pic.twitter.com/OAyXzbU4l3
— Football España (@footballespana_) February 20, 2023
Torres admitted (via Sport) that his form suffered at Barcelona earlier this season because he had a poor mindset when it came to his own performances.
“I became obsessed with goals. I didn’t care about having bad games, I just wanted to score. Normally I have been successful in front of goal, but I went through a bad run and I did not know how to manage it.
“It affected me a lot. I hit rock bottom and couldn’t see a way out. It had never happened to me.”
Torres stated that he has been getting help to improve his headspace, and he now feels that his state of mind is in a much better place.
“I have assumed (therapy) naturally. There are weeks when I don’t go to the psychologist and others when I go three times. We don’t always talk about football, we also talk about private life.
“I was already a mature footballer, ever since my departure from Valencia, but the dimension of everything I have lived these months has helped me to grow a lot in all aspects. Now I dedicate myself to go out, enjoy and be happy playing.”
Barcelona fans will be hoping for more of the same from Torres in the coming weeks, as they hope that the former Manchester City player has turned a corner in his career at Catalonia.