“He found in Liverpool what he needed the most. Space. In every sense of the word. Space on the pitch to set free his magnificent range of speed and ability. Space in his personal life to be able to enjoy himself and football and England like so few manage to do so. At last, his baggage was light and weightless, and he was in a place where he would soon -possibly way too soon- become one of the all-time greats. The adaptation process exceeded all expectations, and Anfield would be the main witness of Fernando’s greatest moments. For the first time in his life, he felt like he was exactly where he was meant to be.
However, the torrid love affair between Fernando and Liverpool would eventually, but perhaps, inevitably, start to fade away. The injuries, the team’s progressive lack of good performances and the striker’s over-playing and exhaustion proved to be the end of a relationship that became too good too soon and turned sour in the same manner. Everything happened way faster than it should have, the bridges burned down too quickly, and in the blink of an eye, it was all gone.
Injuries. Fernando’s true cross to bear. His ankle, his hamstring, and his right knee were to condemn him for a season and a half at Liverpool, and for the entirety of the World Cup in 2010. His call up might have made him a World Champion, but it also hurt him in deep, physical and psychological levels. Now his aim was to once again get rid of the baggage and to be able to display his abilities at their purest form. But it would come at a cost: he would have to leave behind his life-long, red passion, and replace it with a new and unfamiliar blue aristocracy. He had never abandoned red before. To do it would mean to settle into a new life, adopt a new outlook, and for his hopes and dreams to be renewed. But his poor form, the irrevocable quality of some of his physical problems, and Chelsea’s alarming lack of football at the time hurt El Niño profoundly. And in came the frustration, desperation and disappointment. The mocking whispers could start to be heard around Stamford Bridge, and all over England.” - José Manuel Portas, Spanish journalist (x).