Spanish World Cup-winning striker Fernando Torres held a press conference in Japan on Sunday to explain why he’s decided to hang up his boots.
With still another six months on his contract at Japanese side Sagan Tosu, Torres announced on Twitter he will end his stunning 18-year career.
The former Liverpool and Atletico Madrid star then held a press conference on Sunday morning in Tokyo to explain his sudden decision. In it, Torres revealed he no longer enjoys the game like he used to and couldn’t give what he once could on the pitch.
The 35-year-old had only scored four times in his 32 appearances for Sagan Tosu since completing a free transfer from Atletico last summer.
“I’ve listened to my body,” said Torres, according to Marca.
“I wasn’t enjoying it as much as before and I think the most honest thing to do is to leave now.
“I want to leave football with a clear conscience.”
Nonetheless, Torres has enjoyed a remarkable career that saw him start out at Atletico in the Spanish second division to becoming one of the world’s most renown strikers.
“El Niño (The Boy)” also played for Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan on route to winning five major club honours.
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 then won the World Cup two years later before scoring in the Euro 2012 final.
“I feel very proud of everything I’ve achieved,” said the Spaniard.
“For all the teams I’ve played for, the great opponents I’ve faced.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have played for some of the best teams in the world and to win some of the most important trophies so I feel lucky.”
Torres scored a total of 252 goals and provided 73 assists in a total of 706 club career matches.
He 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).