Pablo Torre's journey to signing for Barça

On May 1, 22,000 spectators filled the stands of El Sardinero to witness how Racing de Santander, a history of Spanish football, certified its promotion to the Second Division after drawing against Celta B (2-2).

Pablo Torre's journey to signing for Barça

On May 1, 22,000 spectators filled the stands of El Sardinero to witness how Racing de Santander, a history of Spanish football, certified its promotion to the Second Division after drawing against Celta B (2-2). Much of the blame for the fact that seven years later Racing has returned to the silver category rests with Pablo Torre (Soto de la Marina, 2003), a recently turned 19-year-old boy who, with his 10 goals and nine assists in 30 games It has been the metronome of the club of his loves. “Pablo stay, Pablo stay”, the racing fans sang to him while the player approached the stands remembering that he had promised a boy that he would sign some pants for him – the shirt, with the 10, he had already agreed with another friend– .

Everyone knows that this promotion has been his last service. This summer, Pablo, who is no longer just the son of legendary ex-footballer Esteban Torre, will pack his bags and join FC Barcelona. He has signed for the next four seasons with a subsidiary file but also with the prognosis that his place is under the command of Xavi Hernández.

“Paul is enjoying himself. He leaves his Racing where he wanted. As soon as he makes one of his laps at the Camp Nou, everyone will be amazed”, predicts Pepe Aguilar, now Cartagena B coach and one of those responsible for the Racing pearl growing meteorically. He “he Controls the ball, gets his head up and makes the last pass. He is a great processor of the game”, insists Aguilar. "Football-wise, Pablo is a very complete player with a great vision. He turns his neck four or five times in each play to know two things: Who is close to him to pass it to and also which rival can take it from him. And he always quickly takes the best decision", says Arturo Herrera, director of and narrator on Fuchs Sports and Dazn who has closely followed Torre's football evolution in Santander and also with the Spanish Under-19 National Team. "This boy is surely not going to go through Barça B because a player like that is needed in the first team," predicts Herrera.

Xavi expects the same. The FC Barcelona coach did not hesitate to pick up the phone and call Pablo Torre to convince him that the next stop on his trip was Barcelona. “Before Xavi they called him Celta and Real Sociedad coordinators. Also Real Madrid. But of course... let Xavi call you and tell you that he has a sports project for you... well, he completely convinces you, ”explains Sergio Matabuena, the coach who trained Pablo when he first touched the ball at the CD Marina Sport. “It was in 2015. I had just gotten my coaching card and I did the practices with the Marina Sport fry. There was Paul. The following year I joined Racing to train youngsters, but Pablo still hasn't come. His parents considered that he was still little”, says Matabuena.

Their paths would soon meet again. Until then, Pablo continued to forge his talent under the gaze of his father, former player Esteban Torre. And Quique Setién, a former Barcelona coach and a close family friend since he played with Esteban at Racing in the 1990s, also watched him glancingly. Both families are neighbors and their bonds of friendship are very strong. Everyone agreed that it was not necessary to run and Pablo grew up without pressure, having fun playing soccer. Also during the summers. Pedro Alba, a Racing exporter, tells us that “when Pablo Torre was 6 years old he began to come to the campus that Esteban and I organized with Quique Setién. I always say that footballingly he reminds me of Iniesta but as a person he is the same as Iván de la Peña with whom I traveled to many tournaments. Everyone loves him very much."

It was not until the 2015-16 season when Pablo Torre made the leap to Racing de Santander to reunite with Matabuena. He “he completed the first two years of the children's category. But when he had to train with the first-year cadet, we considered that his place was in the cadet A”, says Matabuena.

It was then that Paul began to be considered ahead of his time. Setién even wanted to take him to the Betis quarry but finally the family and the racing club reached an unwritten agreement so that he would continue training in Santander after the classes he taught at his town's school, the CEIP José Escandón and having dinner in the nights with his paternal grandmother. Pablo loves her just like the scrambled eggs she cooks for him.

Pepe Aguilar awaited him eagerly in the Racing youth team, who convinced Ezequiel Loza, Racinguista youth soccer coordinator, that Pablo could now play with the youth team. “They didn't see it clearly, they thought that because of his physique he couldn't compete with older kids. But I insisted. It wasn't about physique, but about talent. In the end I got it”, says Pepe Aguilar proudly. After a year in the subsidiary, Pablo made his debut in October 2020 with the first team. It is the worst season for Racing in its 109-year history. He didn't even qualify for the playoffs. But Pablo did manage to settle in the starting eleven.

This course has been essential to achieve promotion. That day, the famous May 1, Pedro Alba, who has a WhatsApp group with Esteban Torre, Setién, Paco Liaño and Jose Ceballos, wrote: “I have a dream. Seeing Pablo and Pedri win a World Cup with Spain”. For now, both will coincide at Xavi's Barça.