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Four-goal Torres pays tribute to Tahiti minnows


Spain's Fernando Torres. Picture: REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Spain's Fernando Torres. Picture: REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Spain's Fernando Torres. Picture: REUTERS/Pilar Olivares

Fernando Torres (pictured) who knows a thing or two about failure on a football pitch, was full of praise for amateur opponents Tahiti after scoring four goals in Spain's 10-0 Confederations Cup win last night.

The 29-year-old striker, who has suffered long lapses of form, severe criticism and questions about his hunger for success during two-and-a-half turbulent seasons at Chelsea, was impressed by Tahiti's sportsmanship, integrity and the example they set in the match.

Tahiti were given a standing ovation at the final whistle by nearly 72,000 fans at the Maracana stadium who cheered almost every move made by the Oceania champions, ranked 138th in the world.

"They are the example for other teams," Torres said after accepting the Man-of-the-Match award for his four-goal haul. "All of us have become big fans of that team. We have all had our photos taken together – it was a joy to play in that match and not just because we won so easily, but because they were sporting and despite losing they played with a smile on their faces from the first kick to the last."

Torres scored four times and missed a penalty. David Villa had a hat-trick, David Silva scored twice and Juan Mata also netted as Spain went top of Group B.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez paid tribute to Diego Forlan after his side beat Nigeria 2-1 with a goal from the striker in his 100th appearance for the team.

Describing the 34-year-old as "a great professional and a top striker," Tabarez said Forlan's abilities were on full display in a victory that left Uruguay hot favourites to join Spain in the semi-finals.

Uruguay took the lead in the 19th minute when captain Diego Lugano bundled a low cross from Forlan into the net. Nigeria equalised in the 37th minute when John Obi Mikel side-footed the ball into the net.

Uruguay went ahead again in the 51st minute and it was Forlan who hammered the ball in from an angle.