- Gabriel Torres has taken over as Panama’s attacking spearhead
- His nation’s third-highest all-time goalscorer
- Setting his sights on subsequent opponents Dominican Republic
Gabriel Torres has been Panama’s most important aim menace for a while now.
When Blas Perez and Luis Tejada ended their worldwide careers, each tied on 43 objectives as Los Canaleros’ all-time main scorers, it was solely pure that Torres ought to step into the void and lead the road for Panama.
“It’s a great honour for me to take on this responsibility,” mentioned Torres in an unique interview with FIFA.com. The striker, who in 2005 turned his nation’s youngest ever worldwide on the age of solely 16, added: “I’m very proud to have the job of being Panama’s main goalscorer. We took a big step forward yesterday and we were part of that.”
Torres was referring to Panama’s thumping 13-0 defeat of Anguilla on Saturday 5 June, their penultimate sport in Group D of the primary spherical of the Concacaf qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The greatest win in Panama’s historical past, the end result allowed Los Canaleros to maneuver out entrance within the part, two factors forward of Dominican Republic, who had been held to a draw by Barbados on the identical day.
Reflecting on his facet’s massive win and their spectacular progress to date within the qualifiers, Torres mentioned: “We’re delighted as a result of we’ve taken an essential step in the direction of our aim, although we all know that we’ve nonetheless obtained a very powerful match developing on Tuesday and we want to strategy it as such.”
Torres scored 4 of the objectives towards the Anguillans, changing into the primary Panama participant to attain the feat in a World Cup qualifier. In the method, he moved previous Julio Dely Valdes because the nationwide crew’s third most prolific goalscorer in historical past.
“I’m obviously very happy, though I also have to say that it’s all down to the hard work of my team-mates on the pitch. That’s what helps us forwards get the goals.”
Torres and Co are actually able to entertain Dominican Republic of their ultimate sport within the part. A draw could be sufficient to take them via to the second spherical of the preliminaries, although the free-scoring entrance man is taking nothing as a right.
“I feel the unity we’ve obtained within the dressing room, the depth with which we play, and the fluidity of our sport are all going to be important if we want to beat Dominican Republic.”
Panama’s all-time main goalscorers
- Blas Perez: 43
- Luis Tejada: 43
- Gabriel Torres: 22
- Julio Dely Valdes: 19
- James Santiago Anderson: 18*
*JS Anderson scored the primary two worldwide objectives in Panama’s historical past, on the Central American and Caribbean Games in 1938.
Panama made their FIFA World Cup debut at Russia 2018. “It was wonderful to see how much the country enjoyed our first World Cup,” recalled Torres, reflecting on that have. “It felt wonderful to make the Panamanian folks so joyful. We’ve obtained our sights set now on reaching the ultimate eight-crew spherical and occurring that emotional rollercoaster journey once more.”
Torres has one more reason to look again on these occasions fondly. Just earlier than the top of the Russia 2018 qualifiers, his spouse was taken in poor health and fell into a coma, even shedding her reminiscence briefly. In what had been worrying occasions for him and his household, Torres promised that he would take her to Russia. Happily, she obtained again on her ft and was capable of make the journey.
“Thanks to God I was able to fulfil my promise to my wife,” defined Torres. “She ended up being at the World Cup with me and it was a special moment that I hope we can experience again. This time I want my wife and my children to come and enjoy it.”
Life is nice for Torres in the meanwhile. He is scoring objectives, his household are all in good well being, and he’s decided to present the followers one thing to smile about after so many months of struggling through the pandemic.
“I do know the nation has been via some very powerful occasions. It’s been practically a 12 months and half because the followers final noticed the nationwide crew. Some of them had been capable of go on Saturday. I hope a lot extra of them can go on Tuesday and that we can provide them one thing to cheer about, as a result of they’ve gone so lengthy with out seeing us.
“My household is my greatest supply of motivation, doubtless: my kids, my spouse, my mom, my brothers and my father. They help me the entire time. I at all times strive my coronary heart out for them as a result of they’re those who’re there for me when occasions get powerful and who assist me to drag via.”