Champions League

Torres: UCL qualification essential

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Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has admitted it would be a "catastrophe" if the club failed to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Chelsea take a 1-0 lead into Tuesday night's semi-final second leg at Barcelona, but know only winning the trophy might be enough for them to return next season.

Roberto Di Matteo's men currently sit four points behind fourth-placed Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League and Torres told www.uefa.com: "It would be a catastrophe to miss out on the Champions League and we must be prepared to do anything to achieve this.

"It doesn't matter who plays, who scores, who gives the assists and who stays out. The important thing is that we are successful.

"This team has slightly changed the way I play, because of their style. For me the most important thing is to score goals - that's what I practice every day - but we all know this season has been tough and the team is the most important thing."

Meanwhile Torres has hailed the influence of interim boss Di Matteo, who has rescued the Blues' season with 10 wins and just one defeat in 14 matches.

Torres added: "His message is clearly aimed at team spirit - fighting. You have to fight and then your talent will come through afterwards.

"When all of that comes together, you'll overtake your opponent most of the time. But everybody understands what he wants - it is all for the club. He came from this club, he played here, so he is from here."
 

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