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World Cup stars by the numbers

Who's a secret secret weapon?

Fernando Torres (Spain)

Torres suffered from a lot of injuries last season and part of Liverpool’s troubles was that they scored 40 per cent fewer goals in the 17 games he missed (1.24 per game) compared to the 21 he played (2.05) as their PPG dropped from 1.75 to 1.65. Despite his injuries Torres scored twice as many goals as any other Liverpool player, with 18 strikes in 21 appearances.

Liverpool have played only 23 away games against top-half teams since Torres’ arrival, with the Spaniard playing 13. With Torres, Liverpool have averaged 1.31 goals per game while without they’ve managed less than half at just 0.60 goals per game as their PPG has fallen from 1.62 to just 1.20.

Torres failed to score in his four qualifying appearances although Spain won them all while scoring 11 goals. They also kept up this scoring rate without him as they found the net 17 times in their other six qualifiers. However, Torres did score three goals in three appearances at the last World Cup and three goals in four games at last year’s Confederations Cup.

During the 2008 Euro qualifying and finals competition Torres played half of Spain’s 18 matches with a poor record of five wins and two defeats, compared to nine wins out of nine when he didn’t play. Moreover, they scored just 15 goals with him compared to 20 without. However, he did get the winning goal in the final. ®

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