- 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 principal aim menace for a while now.
When Blas Perez and Luis Tejada ended their worldwide careers, each tied on 43 targets 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 terrific honour for me to tackle this accountability,” stated Torres in an unique interview with FIFA.com. The striker, who in 2005 grew to become 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 principal goalscorer. We took an enormous step ahead yesterday and we have been a part of that.”
Torres was referring to Panama’s thumping 13-0 defeat of Anguilla on Saturday 5 June, their penultimate recreation in Group D of the primary spherical of the Concacaf qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. The largest win in Panama’s historical past, the outcome allowed Los Canaleros to maneuver out entrance within the part, two factors forward of Dominican Republic, who have been held to a draw by Barbados on the identical day.
Reflecting on his aspect’s huge win and their spectacular progress to this point within the qualifiers, Torres stated: “We’re delighted as a result of we’ve taken an vital step in the direction of our aim, although we all know that we’ve nonetheless obtained a really robust match developing on Tuesday and we wish to method it as such.”
Torres scored 4 of the targets towards the Anguillans, turning into the primary Panama participant to realize the feat in a World Cup qualifier. Within the course of, he moved previous Julio Dely Valdes because the nationwide crew’s third most prolific goalscorer in historical past.
“I’m clearly very completely happy, although I additionally should say that it’s all all the way down to the exhausting work of my team-mates on the pitch. That’s what helps us forwards get the targets.”
Torres and Co are actually able to entertain Dominican Republic of their remaining recreation within the part. A draw could be sufficient to take them by to the second spherical of the preliminaries, although the free-scoring entrance man is taking nothing without any consideration.
“I feel the unity we’ve obtained within the dressing room, the depth with which we play, and the fluidity of our recreation are all going to be important if we wish 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 targets in Panama’s historical past, on the Central American and Caribbean Video games in 1938.
Panama made their FIFA World Cup debut at Russia 2018. “It was fantastic to see how a lot the nation loved our first World Cup,” recalled Torres, reflecting on that have. “It felt wonderful to make the Panamanian folks so completely happy. We’ve obtained our sights set now on reaching the ultimate eight-team spherical and happening that emotional rollercoaster trip once more.”
Torres has one more reason to look again on these instances fondly. Simply earlier than the top of the Russia 2018 qualifiers, his spouse was taken ailing and fell right into a coma, even shedding her reminiscence briefly. In what have been worrying instances for him and his household, Torres promised that he would take her to Russia. Fortunately, she obtained again on her toes and was in a position to make the journey.
“Because of God I used to be in a position to fulfil my promise to my spouse,” defined Torres. “She ended up being on the World Cup with me and it was a particular second that I hope we will expertise once more. This time I need my spouse and my youngsters to come back and revel in it.”
Life is nice for Torres in the meanwhile. He’s scoring targets, his household are all in good well being, and he’s decided to provide the followers one thing to smile about after so many months of struggling through the pandemic.
“I do know the nation has been by some very robust instances. It’s been almost a 12 months and half because the followers final noticed the nationwide crew. A few of them have been in a position to go on Saturday. I hope much more 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 largest supply of motivation, doubtless: my youngsters, my spouse, my mom, my brothers and my father. They assist me the entire time. I all the time attempt my coronary heart out for them as a result of they’re those who’re there for me when instances get robust and who assist me to tug by.”