Lucas Torró: “I move like the queen in chess” | Soccer | Sports
If Lucas Torró (Cocentaina, Alicante; 29 years old) is asked about his love of chess, he begins to speak as if the playing field were a board. “Maybe the winger has the ball, which is the tower, and I, as a midfielder, have to make sure that we don’t get caught behind if the ball is lost,” explains the Osasuna pivot. He says that the comparison comes to him without realizing it, that later during a match his head does not go so far as to turn the footballers into pieces, but the reality is that chess is very important to him and helps him build his character.
“I love it. If I have free time or I’m at the physio, I put on calm music, log on to chess.com (subscribed to the app) and play five-minute games with anyone in my world. ranking. It forces you to think quickly, it helps me in life, to have some values. For example, they take the queen and you must move forward, you cannot give up the game in the face of adversity. My father taught me when I was little and now I try to play with my nephews,” this former Madrid youth player develops through a video call, fixed in the plans of Jagoba Arrasate, who in Pamplona has found “emotional and sporting stability.”
And as a footballer, what chess piece would be? “I really like the knight, because you can make special plays, but I think the queen. He moves all over the board. You are up, down or you fall to the side,” details this man from Alicante who visits the Bernabéu this Saturday (4:15 p.m., Movistar) against a Madrid that did not recover David Alaba and only has Rüdiger as a pure center back for the first team (Nacho is suspended and Militão, injured). Among the options that Carlo Ancelotti mentioned this Friday to mend the center of the defense are Tchouameni and Mendy.
“I follow City’s games to see how Rodri plays, how he gives support, how he looks… Just to learn.”
Lucas Torró cut his teeth as a defensive midfielder in Valdebebas, where he landed in 2012 from Alcoyano. “Look, I was a Barça fan as a child, to death, but I became very much a Madrid fan. Those four years marked me,” he confesses. He was a midfielder who could reach the area and they had even played him as a forward. “But Madrid signed me to be a pivot,” he points out.
And there, on the plain of the sports city, for a season and a half his Castilla coach was Zinedine Zidane. “He, and then Ramis (the Frenchman’s successor in the reserve team), tried to give me the notions to learn how to give balance to the team, the most important quality in my position. We did profiling exercises. The hardest thing to learn is to think much faster. You receive everything from your back, in front of the two centre-backs and you have to be well positioned. If you touch it more than twice, they will overtake you and steal it,” warns this man from Alicante with a powerful body and 1.90 meters tall.
In those beginnings, his model was Rodri. “I like to watch City games to see how they play, how they give support, how they shape themselves… Just to learn. He does everything well, it’s like putting on a masterclass”, assesses Torró. “My role is to be an anchor,” he says.
To reach Madrid from the youth team, you have to succeed outside. A good year in the reserve team is not enough. Nobody knows you there.”
His story with Madrid lasted until the Castilla period ended in 2016. “To reach the first team, you have to succeed abroad, make a name for yourself and be respected. Like Carvajal or Casemiro. A good year in the reserve team is not enough. Nobody knows you there. The leap is very big,” he emphasizes, without wanting to make too many comparisons with the rise of young people that is taking place at Barcelona. “Football is moments. In some clubs there are situations that can occur and in others, not,” he says.
Bad luck in Germany
He first went on loan to Oviedo (2016-17), then he went free to Osasuna (2017-18) and that opened the doors of Germany for him. The white club bought him back for 1.75 million and a few days later they transferred him for 3.5 million to Eintracht. One of those retail operations with the quarry that has brought so much money to the Bernabéu treasury. In the Bundesliga, however, injuries slowed him down. “Looking back, it makes me angry that I had such bad luck. One year I had pubic surgery and another year I had surgery on the internal ligament. I started playing everything and I think I could have made a career there. Eintracht is a springboard. Sign young people to sell them and take the leap. But hey, that made me mature and in Osasuna I have found my place. When I come back from a break, I don’t feel like I’m doing it just to play football. I return to my home. That stability makes me perform well, but you also have to earn it,” he highlights. The Navarrese club recovered him in 2020 for two million and a few months ago he renewed until 2027 after having received offers from Italy and England.
His goal against Madrid in the last Cup final, one of only four he has scored with the red team, made the Arrasate troops believe in the feat, until Rodrygo denied them the tie in a huge season that led them to Europe. Although there, this summer, they suffered “a tough disappointment” in the previous Conference tie with Bruges. “We had a squad for both competitions. It is a challenge to continue improving without looking at the past,” concludes Lucas Torró.
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