Madrid: Veteran striker Fernando Torres on Monday announced he would be leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of the 2017-18 football season.
At a publicity event, the 34-year-old Spanish international who came through Atletico’s youth academy said the decision was difficult, reports Efe.
“When I arrived at just 10 years old, I thought Atletico would always be my home, I am enjoying the Atleti that I always dreamed of,” he told the press. “This is going to be my last season at the club, it was not an easy decision, but I feel obliged to tell the fans.”
He said he hoped to stay in the game for two to five more years, although acknowledged he always thought he would hang his boots up at Los Colchoneros, adding it was hard to say farewell for the second time.
Between 2001-07, Torres bagged 82 goals in 214 appearances for the Los Rojiblancos before transferring to Liverpool for four years, where he became a darling of the Kop scoring 65 times in 102 appearances.
He moved to Chelsea in 2011 but failed to live up to their expectations and was loaned and eventually sold to AC Milan, from where he was loaned back to Atletico Madrid in 2015 before re-signing and making his homecoming in 2016.
He said he hoped to finish his final season with the Madrid team winning a title.
Atletico is on track to finish second or third in La Liga. They are also in contention for the UEFA Europa Cup, in which they are set to play Sporting Lisbon on Thursday.