Soccer

Torres confident in future with Mourinho's Chelsea

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MIAMI (AP)

Fernando Torres doesn't think the return of manager Jose Mourinho to Chelsea will affect his future with the Premier League side.

Speaking on a conference call Friday ahead of Spain's friendlies in the U.S. against Haiti and Ireland, Torres said Mourinho's return to Stamford Bridge is ''great news'' for the club and that it will not alter his plans to finish out his deal.

''I have three more years on my contract so I am not worried. I know my future is there,'' Torres said. ''To be honest, it is like this every summer. There is talk and speculation. But as I said when I signed my contract, I will be there for five-and-a-half seasons. My future is there, and my present is with the national team.''

Spain has topped the FIFA rankings for 20 straight months and shouldn't have much trouble against No. 63 Haiti in Miami on Saturday as the world and European champion prepares for the Confederations Cup in Brazil.

Spain plays Ireland on Tuesday in another friendly, at New York's Yankee Stadium. It opens the Confederations Cup against Uruguay on June 16, plays Tahiti four days later and completes the first round against Nigeria on June 23.

Torres had struggled since his move to Chelsea but showed marked improvement in the second half of last season under interim manager Rafa Benitez, the same man who brought him to Liverpool from Spain. The former Atletico Madrid standout helped Chelsea win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League next season.

''In the beginning it wasn't easy since I didn't score, but over the past year it has been better,'' Torres said. ''I have been scoring, but I know I can do better.''

Mourinho was rehired by Chelsea on Monday after three tumultuous seasons with Real Madrid that included one league title, one Copa del Rey championship and conflicts with captain Iker Casillas and other players. The Portuguese manager's first stint with Chelsea was from 2004-07, when he guided the Blues to two league titles and one FA Cup.

Spain enters the Confederations Cup with much the same roster that won the 2008 and 2012 European Championships and the 2010 World Cup, keyed by midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta.

Midfielder Xabi Alonso is out, having undergone surgery after missing Real Madrid's final two games of the Spanish league season because of back pain.

Real said Friday he was operated on by Dr. Ulrike Muschaweck in Munich.

''Looking at these years I think that we are enjoying our best moments in our history,'' midfielder Juan Mata said. ''It's a pleasure and we have to take advantage of this great generation of players that we have and hopefully win the Confederations Cup as it's the only title that the team is missing.''

Haiti is getting ready for next month's CONCACAF Gold Cup, where it plays Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago, and El Salvador.

''It's a historic moment for us and we feel honored playing the best team in the world,'' Haiti coach Blake Cantero said. ''We take into account we are playing the World Cup champion, but we must not lose sight that this is also an opportunity to get us prepared for Gold Cup.''



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