Former Liverpool star Fernando Torres has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.
Torres, who had been playing his club football in Japan with Sagan Tosu, announced his retirement on Twitter. He will also hold a press conference on Sunday to explain his sudden decision.
The 35-year-old, nicknamed as “El Niño (The Boy)”, was one of the most gifted Spanish forwards of the century. He started out his career at Atletico Madrid and quickly came through the club’s youth ranks to become an established first-team star before he was even 20.
Eventually, though, Torres’ rapid progress meant Atletico had no choice but to sell him to Liverpool in 2007.
Under the watchful eye of Rafael Benitez, the Spaniard flourished over at Anfield to become one of Europe’s most lethal strikers upon scoring 81 goals in 142 games.
Perhaps, though, Torres’ most significant moment in football came when he scored the winner for Spain in the Euro 2008 final against Germany in Austria. He later played a key role in La Roja’s World Cup success two years later and scored again in the Euro 2012 final.
But things fell apart for Torres in January 2011 when he sealed a £50m switch to Chelsea. After failing to win a single trophy at Liverpool in over three years, the Madrid-native decided Stamford Bridge was the perfect spot for the next stage of his career.
However, the World Cup winner instead suffered a dip in form and injury problems. It meant he couldn’t reproduce his stunning Liverpool displays and ended up with just 45 goals in 172 outings for Chelsea.
Although Torres did still lift the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup for the Blues anyway.
Following a brief four-month loan spell at AC Milan, the Spaniard made an emotional return to Atletico in 2014. After losing the 2016 Champions League final to Real Madrid, the hitman won the Europa League in 2018 with his beloved boyhood club.
Torres is also Spain’s third highest goalscorer on 38 goals in 110 games behind Real Madrid icon Raul (44) and ex-Barcelona star David Villa (63).
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