Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone hailed Fernando Torres as “an absolute legend of football” after the striker finished his career on Friday.
After announcing plans to hang up his boots in June, Torres played his final professional match on Friday. Coincidentally, it was a match between his Sagan Tosu team and Vissel Kobe – who boast his old Spain team-mates Andres Iniesta and David Villa.
Unfortunately for the 35-year-old, though, his brilliant career ended in a 6-1 thrashing to Vissel Kobe. Despite playing the full 90 minutes, Torres had a low-key final outing as Iniesta instead took centre stage.
The former Barcelona captain even scored a penalty in the 20th-minute to double Vissel Kobe’s lead. Regardless, there were no hard feelings with Iniesta even writing an emotional farewell letter for his old colleague.
Since the match in Japan ended, tributes have come pouring in from all over Europe for Torres.
And now Simeone has joined in paying tribute to the Atletico icon.
“I think Fernando is very intelligent, an absolute legend of football, he has earned his place in football for his work, commitment and respect for others,” said Simeone, according to Goal.
“He has always had a great respect, as a person and footballer. I imagine he will take his time to prepare and decide in the best way where he wants [his career to take him after retirement] and respond to that responsibility.
“Hopefully that’s not in so many years, because then we could meet again.”
Atletico, meanwhile, will be eyeing all three points at fellow Madrid side CD Leganes this evening. They hope to build on last weekend’s 1-0 win over Getafe in their La Liga opener.
With forward Angel Correa’s future in doubt, though, Simeone is unhappy the transfer window is still open.
“It’s an awkward situation for everyone, the players, coaches, clubs,” said the Argentine.
“I don’t like the league starting before the transfer window closes. It would be better if we all knew who [players] we will have in the season. It would be healthier for everyone, but it’s not up to me.”
The Leganes and Atletico match will start at 19:00 (CET).