Spanish World Cup winning striker Fernando Torres has announced he is to retire from football.
Torres, 35, played at Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea in his 18-year career and is currently at Sagan Tosu in Japan’s J1 League.
In 110 games for Spain, he scored the winner in Euro 2008 and was on target in their Euro 2012 final win.
Torres is Spain’s third highest goalscorer with 38 and played in six major tournaments.
One of the most gifted forwards of this century, Torres came through the ranks at Atletico Madrid, where he was affectionately referred to as ‘El Nino’ – ‘The Kid’ – due to his boyish looks and early start in the team, for whom he made his debut at the age of 17.
He helped Atletico gain promotion back to La Liga in 2002, and then consistently impressed in the Spanish top-flight over the next five seasons before a move to Liverpool in the summer of 2007.
Scoring 81 goals in 142 games for the Reds as he established himself as one of if not the greatest forward in Europe for a period, also contributing greatly to Spain winning Euro 2008 with an extraordinary final goal and the World Cup two years later.
He joined Chelsea for £50million in January 2011, but injury and form issues meant that he was never able to consistently reproduce those Liverpool performances at Stamford Bridge, although he was part of the Blues’ Champions League-winning team in 2012.
I have something very important to announce. After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career. Next Sunday, the 23rd at 10:00AM, local time in Japan, I will have a press conference in Tokyo to explain all the details.See you there. pic.twitter.com/WrKnvRTUIu
— Fernando Torres (@Torres) June 21, 2019
He also won the FA Cup and scored in their 2-1 win against Benfica in the Europa League final in 2013.
After 45 goals in 172 games at Chelsea and a brief four-month loan spell at AC Milan, he returned to Atletico in late 2014.
He finished on the losing side as Atletico lost the 2016 Champions League final to Real Madrid, but won a second Europa League in 2018 – his final appearance before moving to Japan.
“I have something very important to announce. After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career. Next Sunday, the 23rd at 10:00AM, local time in Japan, I will have a press conference in Tokyo to explain all the details.See you there.” he wrote on Twitter