Ferran Torres etched his name in Barcelona’s history by becoming the first player to score a direct free-kick goal for the club since the departure of Lionel Messi.
This significant feat occurred during the La Liga match against Real Betis, with Torres executing a brilliant free-kick in the 62nd minute.
To put this achievement into perspective, one must consider that Messi last scored a direct free-kick goal for Barcelona way back in May 2021, during Game Week 34 of the 2020-21 La Liga season. At that time, he contributed the third goal in a 3-2 victory over Valencia.
Ferran Torres is the first Barcelona player to score a direct free kick goal since Lionel Messi 😳 pic.twitter.com/Ni4jTcqZlu
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 16, 2023
Subsequently, a multitude of players, including Robert Lewandowski, Ferran Torres himself, and Raphinha, to name a few, attempted free-kicks for Barcelona. Yet none had managed to find the back of the net for nearly two years and two months, spanning a total of 49 unsuccessful attempts.
Messi had been the sole scorer of Barcelona’s last 20 direct free-kick goals, and his departure marked the onset of a prolonged drought that Ferran Torres successfully brought to an end.
Incredible start by Ferran Torres for FC Barcelona
Ferran Torres is experiencing a remarkable resurgence in form for FC Barcelona this season. Despite only starting one La Liga match, the Spanish forward has already netted three goals in four appearances in La Liga.
What’s truly astonishing is his goal-scoring frequency, as he has averaged a goal every 38 minutes played since the season’s commencement, tallying an impressive eight goals in his last nine games.
Reports from within the club suggest that Torres has undergone a remarkable transformation, both mentally and physically. He has dedicated himself to rigorous bodybuilding and mental conditioning, emphasizing his determination to remain at the club rather than seeking a summer departure. This unwavering commitment has now earned him a well-deserved place in the starting lineup against Real Betis.
Ferran Torres: “To be honest, I tried to hit the freekick over the wall, but it came out like that. When things are going well for you, the ball goes in even unintentionally!” *laughs* pic.twitter.com/3vaQeCB9TR
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) September 16, 2023
Manager Xavi has been quick to acknowledge the positive influence of this versatile forward, stating, “Ferran is an example of dedication. Whether he enters the game for 10 minutes, 30 minutes, or starts from the beginning, he consistently gives one hundred percent“.
With the departures of Ousmane Dembélé and Ansu Fati and a somewhat shaky start for Raphinha, Ferran Torres now has a golden opportunity to establish himself as a consistent presence on either wing and secure a permanent spot in the starting lineup.
Ferran Torres made his move to FC Barcelona in January 2022 and has encountered challenges in securing regular playing time. During his tenure at Barcelona, Torres has featured in 75 matches, finding the back of the net on 17 occasions while also contributing nine assists.