Following Chelsea's 3-1 Europa League win against Rubin Kazan, the man believed to be Fernando Torres playing in a protective mask was revealed to be Real Madrid legend Raul Gonzalez. The ruse was discovered when several Chelsea fans spotted the real Torres watching the match in a pub near Stamford Bridge. When asked who he was, he first claimed to be "Ternando Borres" before admitting that wasn't true.
The 35-year-old Raul, who currently plays for Al-Sadd in the Qatar Stars League, scored twice against Rubin Kazan while wearing the mask and posing as Torres, who only had two goals in his previous 13 appearances. Under questioning from the press after the match, Chelsea interim manager Rafa Benitez told how to masked Torres switch came about.
"It was a very good plan," Benitez told reporters. "When Fernando broke his nose and was told he would have to play in a mask, we knew we had the opportunity to make a switch. I knew Raul was feeling bored in Qatar and wanted one last taste of European football, so I told him the idea and he came. We both felt that if Fernando could watch someone else scoring goals and playing with confidence in his shirt, it would remind him of what he can do. Or we would just pretend Fernando kept breaking his nose and have Raul play the rest of the season for us. Either way, it was a win-win."
The supporters who found the real Torres claimed that he attempted to disguise himself with a handlebar mustache drawn on his face in black ink and that he also tried to talk like Yoda from the Star Wars films. They said they only noticed him because he kept buying everyone drinks, citing "more money than I know what do with I have."
"It was fun while it lasted," said Raul after revealing himself. "I do regret cutting and dying my hair a bit. And the freckles...but hopefully seeing what I did as him will help Fernando. Or whoever wears the mask next."
- Sports & Recreation
- Fernando Torres
- Rafa Benitez
- Rubin Kazan
- Qatar Stars League