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Torres set to make his mark in South Africa.

Byline: David Randles

FERNANDO TORRES hopes his injury woes are behind him as he sets his sights on World Cup glory.

The Liverpool striker came through 70 minutes of Spain's 2-0 win over Honduras on Monday night.

It was his first start since the Europa League quarter-final, second leg against Benfica in early April - the match in which he suffered a recurrence of the injury that forced him to undergo knee surgery in January.

Further damage to the meniscus in his right knee brought an abrupt end to Torres's season with Liverpool and raised doubts about his fitness for the World Cup.

However, after a 30-minute run out in Spain's shock 1-0 loss to Switzerland last week, Torres rekindled his partnership with Barcelona-bound David Villa against Honduras.

While Torres squandered several chances to open his World Cup account, Villa missed a penalty to prevent him grabbing a hat-trick.

Now, with a fitness boost for both Liverpool and Spain, Torres says he is ready to play a full game again.

However, he may have a new strike partner for Spain's final group game against Chile on Friday if FIFA take retrospective action against Villa for lashing out at Honduras defender Emilio Izaguirre.

"I played 70 minutes and the good news is I feel ready to last for 90 minutes for the first time since my recovery," said Torres.

"Villa and I have said we understand each other perfectly and hopefully we can play together again, although we've always said that if we don't then it doesn't matter as long as the team works well."

Torres is determined to help Spain beat group leaders Chile to avoid the top team from Group G - most likely to be Brazil - in the last 16.

"Our defeat against Switzerland was already water under the bridge, we talked about it and it's not logical to look back," he said.

"Against Honduras we played in the same style as we played against Switzerland, we attacked and played short passes.

"This first group of games is very difficult, we still have a match to play against Chile. Being world champions is a long way down the road. Not just for any national squad, but in terms of time as well, there is a long time to go before the final and there are many matches to play before then.

"At the moment we are focused on Chile, beating them and moving on to the next round." Meanwhile, Milan Jovanovic has revealed he could pull out of his move to Liverpool.

The Serbia striker, whose contract at Standard Liege came to an end this summer, signed a pre-contract agreement with Liverpool in February.

However, speculation has been rife that former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez, now at Inter Milan, would attempt to ambush the deal.

And Jovanovic has hinted he could decide to follow Benitez to the San Siro, saying: "There is an agreement signed with Liverpool, but if either party wants to end it, it's not impossible."
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 23, 2010
Words:498
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