Mariners sign ex-Porto forward who won U19 Champions League: ‘He can play at the very top level’

Reigning Isuzu UTE A-League champions Central Coast Mariners have signed former Porto forward Angel Torres on a two-season deal.

Torres makes the move to the Mariners, who are rebuilding their attack after winning the Championship last season having lost cult hero and star striker Jason Cummings, Sam Silvera and Beni Nkololo.

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The 23-year-old Colombian was a shining light for Maltese Premier League outfit Balzan last term, where he scored 15 goals in just 23 appearances in 2022-23 as they finished fourth to reach the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Europa Conference League.

“I am very happy to be joining the Champions of Australia and am very excited to work with all of the staff and my new teammates ahead of the upcoming season,” Torres said.

“It is a really nice and interesting project for me to join. It is one that I feel like I am going to fit in with very well where they promote young players. It is a club that helps these players reach the highest level so I think it will be a great place for me.”

Image source: FC Porto

Torres made the move to Porto as an 18-year-old from Real Academia Bogota in his homeland in 2018 for almost A$2.5 million.

He initially joined Porto’s youth team in 2018-19 and was part of the team’s triumphant 2018-19 UEFA Youth Cup campaign, making eight appearances including a full 90 minutes in the final as they won 3-1 against a Chelsea outfit featuring Billy Gilmour, Conor Gallagher and Tariq Lamptey. The forward also scored against Tottenham en route to claiming the trophy.

Torres went on to represent the Portuguese giants’ B team the following season, playing alongside the likes of Vitinha (who joined Paris Saint-Germain for $AUD69.6million in 2022), Fabio Vieira (who was signed by Arsenal for $AUD68.8m in 2022) and Fabio Silva (who joined Wolves for $AUD68.3m in 2020).

Image source: FC Porto/UEFA

“Angel is a player we have known about for a while since his days in Portugal, winning the
Under 19’s UEFA Champions League with Porto,” said Mariners head coach Nick Montgomery.

“He is a very talented player who scores and assists, is good one on one and works very hard for the team.

“We believe Angel has the ability to play at the very top level and like for many, the Central Coast Mariners can be the springboard for him to get there.

“We are really excited for him to join the squad in preparation for the upcoming AFC Cup and A-League competitions.”

Image source: Maltese FA

In 2021, Torres left Porto for fourth-tier Portuguese side FC Alvera before swapping Portugal for Balzan in Malta a year later.


During his one and only season at Balzan, club captain and 60-time Malta international Paul Fenech said in April: “I have to admit that we are blessed to have a player of the quality of Angel Torres.

“He scored two goals out of nothing and he single-handedly won the match for us. He thrives in high-pressure situations and when you have these kinds of players they always make a difference.

“For me, he is one of the best foreign players I have ever played with in my career. He was born to do this, he is hard-working, reads the game very well, and has a good intuition of how things will evolve in a match.

“Angel Torres is an exceptional player.”

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Featured image: FC Porto