Saturday, 23 March, 2019

Atletico legend Torres to leave at season end

09 Apr 2018, 23:37 ( 11 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres (R) celebrates during the Spanish King's Cup round of 32 second leg match against Elche in Madrid, Spain, Nov. 29. File Photo Xinhua.

Atletico Madrid's former Spain international striker, Fernando Torres announced on Monday that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

The 34-year-old striker, who is currently in his second spell at the club, where he made his debut as a 16-year-old, has scored a total of 126 goals in those two periods.

Torres said that if he had to highlight one moment of his career which has also seen him play for Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan, it would be when he returned to Atletico in January 2015.

"It is as if son leaves home and eight years later he comes back and his family are waiting to welcome him," he commented.

He said the decision to leave at the end of the season "wasn't easy and it is very hard to say goodbye for a second time... I had always wanted to hang my boots up here, but it is not to be," he lamented.

Torres has lost protagonism in recent years, playing just over 500 minutes this season in the Liga Santander and making eight appearances in Europe, scoring four goals plus another three in the King's Cup.

He said that despite playing less first team football, his relationship with coach Diego Simeone was "normal... We have been team-mates and now he is the coach and I am the player."

"There is no problem with the coach," continued Torres, adding that any conversation with Simeone had been "behind closed doors."

The club issued a statement, saying that Torres will receive a homage in the final league game of the season at home to Eibar on May 20.

"Fernando is a legend at our club, we have always said that the decision over his future will be his because he is in his home and now he has decided to continue his career elsewhere. We can only thank him for everything he has given us and say that the doors at Atletico Madrid will always be open for him," said the statement.

Torres may leave for the US Major League Soccer or the Chinese Super League.