Spanish striker Fernando Torres announced his retirement from professional football. One of the finest Spanish strikers of all-time, Torres was one of the best strikers in the world while at his prime.
Torres started his career at Atletico Madrid after spending 6 years in the club’s youth setup. He spent 6 years at Atletico Madrid, scoring 91 goals in 244 appearances. Torres joined Liverpool in 2007 and spent three and a half seasons at the club, scoring 81 goals in 142 appearances. The Spaniard then joined Chelsea in 2011 on a fee of £50 million. Torres helped Chelsea win the Champions and the Europa League.
Torres had a short loan spell at AC Milan before a two-season loan spell at Atletico Madrid during which he reached another Champions League final in 2016. Torres then joined Atletico permanently in 2016 and played till 2018, helping the club win the Europa League in the process. During his second stint at Atletico, Torres netted 38 goals in 160 appearances. He joined Japanese club Sagan Tosu last summer, scoring 4 goals in 32 appearances.
Torres has had a great international career as well. After guiding his team to glory on the 2002 U19 Euros, Torres made his senior international debut against Portugal in 2003. Since then, the striker has made 114 appearances for La Roja, scoring 38 goals which is the third most number of international goals in Spain’s history behind Raul and David VIlla. Torres featured for Spain in three World Cups and as many European Championship. He also played in two Confederations Cups.
Torres was a crucial part of Spain’s golden era from 2008-2012 during which they won a World Cup and two European Championships. He scored the winner in the Euro 2008 Final against Germany at Vienna and also played a role in setting up Andres Iniesta’s winner in the 2010 World Cup Final. In Euro 2012, Torres was one of the joint top scorers with three goals as Spain defended their title. He is one of only two players to have scored in two Euro finals, the other being gerd Muller in 1972 and 1976. Torres became the first player to score four goals in a FIFA Confederations Cup match, doing so against Tahiti. His hat-trick against Tahiti also made Torres the only footballer to score two FIFA Confederations Cup hat-tricks.
Torres announced his retirement on social media, stating,”After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career.” The Spaniard will hold a press conference where he will explain all the details.