Fernando Llorente, the world’s most reliable substitute

We need to talk in detail about the career that Fernando Llorente has lived until this moment, he is the most reliable sub ever.

Fernando Llorente’s career has been marked by a drive and a hunger to conquer new frontiers, he didn’t care about being a sub after leaving Athletic Club Bilbao.

With the Lions, Llorente was the absolute leader of a squad that played two Copa del Rey and one Europa League finals.

But his status as a luxury replacement gave its first steps during the World Cup in 2010, that’s when Llorente proved that he could change the course of a game with his skills as a centre-forward.

Despite only playing a single match in the competition, Fernando was the man who changed Spain’s level of performance and revolutionized the game.

If it wasn’t for Llorente’s contribution to that Round of 16 match against Portugal, Spain wouldn’t have reached the quarterfinals of the competition.

After this dominant yet sporadic participation in the World Cup, manager Marcelo Bielsa arrived at Bilbao with great plans for the striker.

Llorente became the most important offensive player for the Argentine manager.

Fernando already reached a Copa del Rey final in 2009, but his confirmation as an elite player came under Marcelo Bielsa’s tutelage.

Despite not winning a single title with the Lions, Fernando still established himself as one of the most coveted strikers in the world during his prime.

The Spaniard decided to change clubs with the plan of winning trophies during his career, this is why he chose to play for Juventus in 2013.

Despite staying as a substitute for the Italian giants, Fernando still won three consecutive Serie A titles, two Italian Supercups, and one Coppa Italia before making the decision to play for a new institution.

Llorente left Italy right after losing another European final in the form of the 2015 Champions League against Barcelona, he also came in as a substitute during that final that his team lost.

Llorente decided to play for Sevilla on the next season, he was part of the squad that won the UEFA Europa League during the summer of 2016 but he remained as a substitute.

It was clear that Fernando accepted his role, managers regarded him as a perfect option to change the game during second halves.

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But his most important season as a replacement at club level didn’t come until last season, Fernando proved that he can even be compared to other players with this “stigma” such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer or other big names.

Pochettino trusts Llorente at Tottenham Hotspur.

Another short spell in Swansea City served him as a reminder that he can still be a prolific player, this proved that Llorente needed to play at a bigger club.

Mauricio Pochettino believed that Fernando could help him improve the depth of his squad, he signed the Spaniard during the summer of 2017.

The striker had no idea what was in store for him, he became an essential player for the Spurs during a season in which Harry Kane was mostly injured and he needed to step up to the challenge.

The reaction from the player after the manager proved his trust was spectacular, especially during the Champions League’s knock-out stages.

His performances against Manchester City and AFC Ajax were a crucial contribution for the Spurs reaching the Champions League final.

He played as a substitute in both matches, it was clear he would play a similar role in the final against Liverpool.

This is how we get to today, a serendipitous day for Fernando because he lost that final against the Reds as a replacement and scored the winning goal today in the same capacity.

Sometimes life can take away something from you as easily as it gives, Fernando lost that final 2-0 as a sub and won with the same result last night in the same fashion.

The only difference is that Llorente scored the winning goal this time around, he truly is the ultimate substitute.

What’s your fondest memory of Fernando Llorente as a substitute? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.

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