Barcelona forward Ferran Torres reveals origin of shark nickname, credits UFC fighter for mentality change

Ferran Torres underwent a significant mentality change last summer, and it was one that brought him instant success at Barcelona. He looked sharper than ever at the start of last season, and although he was unable to keep his form up, it’s unlikely to get him down going before.

Throughout the season, Torres has regularly been referred to as “tiburón”, Spanish for shark. The origin of the nickname stems back to UFC fighter Ilias Topuria and some of his Barcelona teammates, as he revealed during an interview with The Wild Project podcast (via MD).

“The Shark thing came from when I was telling my Barcelona teammates, while we were eating, that during an interview Ilias Topuria answered that here he was the shark, he didn’t have to fight with the big fish. My teammates started responding to me on Instagram with shark emoticons, and it snowballed from there.”

Torres also revealed that an encounter with Topuria last summer led to his mentality change.

“I connected with him from the first moment. Before his fight he told me: ‘This one in the first round doesn’t happen.’ That’s when I thought, ugh… I want to be like him. I was Ferran, and I came back as someone else.

“If I met the Ferran of two years ago, I would slap him in the face and tell him to wake up. He doesn’t know what awaits him. I know what it’s like to hit rock bottom and I don’t want to be there again. My head is thinking all the time on how to improve and extend my career to the maximum.”

Torres is facing an uncertain future at Barcelona, with reports going around that he could be sold during the upcoming summer transfer window. He’s determined to succeed at the Catalan giants, and he’d certainly back himself to do so if he does stay under the orders of Hansi Flick.

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