Op-Ed: Impossible is Nothing — The Remarkable Story of Sergio Torres

Posted Dec 16, 2011 by Christopher Bates
Whenever we feeling like giving up, we should always remember that with a small dose of confidence and determination, anything is possible. This theory certainly mirrors the story of Crawley Town midfielder Sergio Torres, who wasn't afraid to take a risk.
Sergio Torres
Sergio Torres
Born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, Torres set his sights on playing football in England from an early age. Having played for his local team back home, Torres' highlights video managed to catch the attention of then Brighton & Hove Albion manager Mark McGhee, who agreed to give him a two-week trial.
Torres saved up enough money to purchase an aeroplane ticket to England, gaining entry in 2004 through his Italian passport, which he holds through his grandmother. He barely spoke a word of English.
Although the Argentine was unsuccessful in his bid to impress McGhee during the trial, he decided to stick it out.
"I thought I did OK but the manager Mark McGhee said he did not think I was strong enough," Torres told The Sun.
"I was so disappointed but it had taken me so long to save up for an airline ticket I decided I couldn't just give up and go home. So I extended my ticket and told my parents I was staying."
At one point he was sharing a house (and even a bed) with a bunch of cash-strapped Cameroonians.
His next stop was Molesey - a club based in Surrey. After a two-month tenure with the non-league outfit, he joined Basingstoke Town, later admitting that he struggled adapting to the direct, physical style of English non-league football.
In order to maintain his financial stability, Torres got a job working at Boots - a leading pharmacy chain.
"[Basingstoke] was only part-time and the money hardly covered expenses," Torres said in the same interview with The Sun.
"I had hardly any money and nowhere to live. But a Basingstoke fan, John Gray, and his wife Mimi let me have a room in their house and I got a job working in Boots stacking shelves."
As he couldn't afford a car, Torres woke up at 5am every morning and cycled to work, come rain or shine. On Saturdays he would complete a full shift before cycling to Basingstoke ahead of traditional three o'clock kick-offs. The Argentine was once so exhausted that he feel asleep during the manager's team talk, only to later be named man of the match.
Torres' big break came in July 2005, following an exceptional performance in a friendly against Wycombe Wanderers. Although Basingstoke were on the receiving end of an 8-2 romping, Torres impressed John Gorman, who was managing Wycombe at the time. It wasn't long until Gorman steered Torres to Adams Park.
His three years at the Chairboys were full of action, most notably when he got the chance to play against Chelsea in the 2006/07 Carling Cup semi-final series, coming on as a substitution in both legs.
In July 2008, Torres' next adventure began under the guidance of Darren Ferguson - son of Sir Alex - at Peterborough United, who reportedly signed him for £100,000. Following a nine-game loan spell at Lincoln City, the Posh placed him on the transfer list at the end of the 2009/10 season.
Crawley Town, who were then playing in the Conference National, quickly signed Torres in July 2010, for a fee also reported to be around £100,000, smashing the club's transfer record in the process.
Since then the Argentine has never looked back. Not only did he score a 91st minute winner against Derby County in the third round of the 2010/11 FA Cup, which eventually led to a fifth round clash with Manchester United, but he also helped lead Crawley to promotion during the same season. Crawley finished in first place with 105 points, breaking Aldershot's previous record of 101 in 2005/06, while winning promotion to the Football League for the first time in their history.
Torres was also part of the following Crawley landmarks during their 2010/11 campaign:
• Longest unbeaten record in the Conference, previously set by Altrincham in 1990-91 (30).
• Equaled the record for the fewest defeats in a season (three).
• The only club in the top five divisions of English football to not lose a game by more than a single goal.
• FA Cup Ronnie Radford Award - for their giant-killing victory over Derby County in the third round.
Crawley currently sit at the top of League Two on 45 points, having only lost three games (out of 20) all season.
At 28-years-old, Torres is currently in his prime, and while he may be several leagues away from fellow Argentinians Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez and Lionel Messi, I certainly believe he has the talent to play football at the highest possible standard. One thing's for sure though, Tevez, who constantly acts like a spoilt child, will never be as humble as Torres.