It was the type of performance that culers have been waiting for an age to see from Ferran Torres.
Ever since his €55m move from Manchester City, the Spaniard has flattered to deceive in a Barca shirt.
That was all forgotten thanks to an all-action offering from the player at the Camp Nou on Sunday night.
Was it the rare start from Xavi that gave the winger some hitherto unseen confidence?
Was it that he was often given the freedom to run at his markers, and therefore was able to take full advantage of the time and space afforded him?
Whatever the reason, Ferran’s body language was entirely different to that which we’ve seen from him for virtually the whole time he’s been with the club.
Ferran Torres against Cadiz:— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) February 19, 2023
- 3 shots
- 10/13 dribbles completed
- 5 key passes
- 79 touches
- 4 crosses
- 15/21 ground duels won
- 3/3 aerial duels won
- 1 big chance created
- 2 tackles pic.twitter.com/17aZWL7cA8
With Ousmane Dembele still out of the first team picture for the next few weeks, and Ansu Fati not covering himself in glory once more, this upturn in personal form can’t come soon enough.
Ahead of the Europa League tie at Old Trafford, Ferran might just have played himself into the starting XI.
A front three of Raphinha, Robert Lewandowski and Ferran will trouble United, particularly if the latter is able to recapture some of the form he showed against Cadiz.
A regular starting berth for the next few games at least has to be the carrot that Xavi dangles in front of the player in order to try and continue to get the best out of him.
As everyone knows, footballers thrive on confidence. At the top of their game, they are unstoppable, but lose that cloak of invincibility and the difference is marked.
Of course, supporters often point to transfer fees as a guide for how good certain players are expected to be with opinions formed solely on the basis of how much has come out of club coffers.
For €55m, it’s fair to say that the Camp Nou masses have been incredibly underwhelmed by what they’ve seen to this point, but the transfer spend is hardly Ferran’s fault.
Yes, the player needs to improve, that’s beyond doubt, but piling on the criticism from the terraces and on social media week in and week out isn’t going to help matters.
Against Cadiz, Ferran finally seemed free of the shackles and able to express himself in exactly the way he’s wanted for some while.
Hardworking, incisive and dynamic, he’s really given Xavi some food for thought…