Opinion: The resurrection of Torres

by Mike Awoyinfa


Since Mourinho took over Chelsea, we have seen a new Torres.  A born again Torres showing flashes of his old self.  The old Torres is back again.

My dearly beloved members of Press Clips Pentecostal Church (PCPC), thank you for your letters and testimonies expressing how blessed you were with last week’s sermon on “Death and the Coffin-makers.”  It was one sermon that brought tears in my eyes for the first time in my life as a preacher.

As you read this piece today, a story about a “resurrected” Spanish striker, Fernando Torres, death will be far from you.  Death of any kind will not touch you.  You will not be buried untimely.  You will not be buried along with your children. Your children will not die before your eyes.  Your business will not die.  Your dreams will not die.  Your organs will not die.  Nothing will die around you because He died many years ago for you, He who is the resurrection and the life.  He who was rejected but became the cornerstone.  May He continue to be your cornerstone, your pillar of strength and your dream resurrector.

The devil will tell you it’s over with you, that your dream is dead, that you are finished.  But don’t believe the devil.  Because the devil is a liar.  The devil has no power over you, because you are covered by His blood.  The devil will take you like Job to the valley of despair where everything appears to have finished but He will rescue you, He will breathe a new life into you in your valley of dry bones.  Beloved, God has not finished with you yet.  Turn your Bible to Ezekiel Chapter 37: 1-14.

As you read these verses from the Holy Book, may the Good Lord turn around your situation.  May there be a turnaround in your marriage that is breaking up.  May there be a turnaround in your finances.  May there be a turnaround in your health.  Whatever is your problem, I pray that you will recover right now.

Today, I breathe restoration into your life.  I breathe restoration into your finances, into your family, into everything going wrong in your life and in the life of your country, Nigeria.  In your dry bones, I prophesy a new lease of life, a new beginning.  You will rise again.  You will shine again.  You will prosper again.  They will celebrate you again.  You will score goals again and again.

That brings us to our message of today.  As I said at the beginning, it is about a player called Fernando Torres.  A Spanish striker.  So deadly in front of the goal.  A menace to defenders and goalkeepers.  As a kid playing for Atletico Madrid, he was so deadly that he was nicknamed El Nino.  Then Liverpool bought him and he started scoring for them in torrents.

The rich man of Chelsea Roman Abramovich wanting to improve the fortunes of his team, coughed out 50 million pounds to buy Torres and brought him to Chelsea, believing that he would come to strengthen the team and replicate his goal-scoring prowess.  But alas, things didn’t turn out the way they were expected.  Torres came to Chelsea but he couldn’t find his form.  His magic failed him.  The man expected to deliver couldn’t deliver.  The striker expected to bang in the goals started experiencing goal drought, goal famine.  Like the type that hit Canaan and drove the sons of Jacob to Egypt where they met their brother Joseph whom they sold into slavery but ended up as prime minister in Egypt.

Now, how come El Nino performed so well at Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, but couldn’t deliver the goods for Chelsea?  All kinds of theories and expert explanations erupted.   Some even came up with the ridiculous claim that Torres must have been charmed by Didier Drogba, the man with whom he competed to be Chelsea’s foremost striker.  That Drogba had a juju man in Cote D’Ivoire who held the key and lock to Torres goal-scoring problems in Chelsea. This is obviously a joke, but behind every joke, there are people that believe it. Indeed, there are people whose heart is so dark that they would actually take people’s pictures to shrines to cast evil spell.

Beloved, whoever has taken your name or your picture to the shrine, to a juju man or to a herbalist, today, by the power of the resurrection, I break the yoke of your imprisonment.  Today, I breathe life into your dry bones.  Today, I set you free from all spiritual yoke, from all ancestral curse, from all physical and spiritual chains.  Today, I breathe hope of deliverance from the darkness that surrounds you, that surrounds us in this country.  Whoever cursed Nigeria with darkness, making it impossible for electricity to work in this country, I bring the person to the altar of the Most High right now.  With my trumpet, I break down the walls of Jericho surrounding our country, enslaving our country, jeopardizing our country.   Whoever is blocking all the prayers for Nigeria from reaching God, I curse the person now!  Whoever is the serpent in the Garden of Eden causing all these scandals in Nigeria, tempting and seducing our ministers to buy armoured cars when there is hunger in the land, I curse!  I pray that God will give our leaders a sense of righteousness to do the right things in these hard times when things are going wrong.

From the dawn of creation, failure has always been an orphan.  When Torres was a big flop, he was the butt of ridicule.  All kinds of jokes were woven around him and his failure to deliver goals.  One joke was that Abramovich bought the Torres machine from Liverpool, but he was not given the car’s user manual.  One coach after the other was brought in to cure Torres of his goalless disease but they all failed.  Even his ex-coach at Liverpool Rafael Benitez was hired to fine-tune and get the Torres machine back.  He tried his best but his best was not good enough.  Then came Jose Mourinho, the special man of God who started the Chelsea Revolution winning soccer glories for Chelsea before he was fired by Abramovich.

One look at Torres and Mourinho believed Torres could be rescued from the valley of dry bones.  This is what Mourinho said: “We know Torres’s game. When we see Torres with his back to goal surrounded by two or three opponents, we know that he is not going to produce a piece of magic. But this is Torres. We want the team not to learn how to play with him, but to improve how to play with him.

“We won’t re-model his game, it is impossible to re-model his game. But we want to adapt the team and teach the team how to use his best qualities, because his game is his game.

“He is not a kid any more, he is at an age where it is difficult to change his play. He is what he is and he is very good with the qualities that he has got. So, we need to learn and support his game.

“I feel if he is highly motivated, he works very hard. I think some of the work we do with the team in terms of attack suits his qualities.  So, let’s see what happens. We are here to support him.”

Since Mourinho took over Chelsea, we have seen a new Torres.  A born again Torres showing flashes of his old self.  The old Torres is back again.  Thank God Almighty.  Mourinho has breathed a new life into him.  Now, Torres has resurrected from his valley of dry bones.  The rejected stone is now the cornerstone.  We all saw the evidence on Tuesday night.  How a rejuvenated Torres turned out the hero of the 3-0 defeat of Schalke 04 in Germany.  Thanks to Torres who scored 2 of the goals.  He even nearly scored a hat-trick when his towering header from a Lampard free-kick hit the bar at an incredible angle and narrowly missed scoring.

A happy and triumphant Mourinho said afterwards: “I put faith in him and he answered well.”

Mourinho had never won against the Germans in Germany.  Six times he played the Germans on the German soil, he lost.  But this time round, the Good Lord gave Mourinho victory over his enemies.  Thanks to the new, turnaround Torres.

Beloved, your own victory is coming.  You might have had strings of failures in your life, but my message for you today is that victory is at the corner.  The Goliath that has been standing in your way will be conquered today.  No matter how many times you have been defeated, you are about to sing a victory song.  The Good Lord will turn around your situation for good.

You too will be like Torres.  You will resurrect.  You will score your goals again.  Fernando Torres is like the average Nigerian.  The Nigerian is born with talent.  The Nigerian is born to score.  But the impediments surrounding him do not bring the best out of him or her.  Look at our universities.  Look at our impassable roads.  Look at our zero infrastructure.  Look at how people want to work but no electricity.  People want to think and create but here in Nigeria, you can’t even think straight because everything is turned upside down.

The problem of Nigeria boils down to one word: leadership.  What we need right now is a Jose Mourinho who will breathe on us, who will inspire confidence in us to score and to move us out of this valley of dry bones called Nigeria.   Until then, we would just be functioning like cars without user manuals.



Read this article in the Sun Newspapers


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija



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