Fernando Torres announces retirement

The 35-year-old, who is currently playing for Sagan Tosu in Japan, confirmed the end of his football career on social media.

He wrote: “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.”

Torres joined Sagan Tosu in July 2018 after leaving boyhood club Atletico Madrid for a second time. He has scored just four goals in 32 games for the J League side.

The striker came through the youth system at Atletico, making his debut against Leganes in a Spanish second division game in March 2001.

He scored his first goal for the club a week later in a 1-0 victory over Albacete, before helping Atletico to promotion to La Liga the following season.

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Torres then established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in Spain, top-scoring for them in five successive seasons, which earned him a move to Liverpool.

Torres’ time in London got off to a slow start. His first game for Chelsea was a 1-0 defeat to Liverpool, and he scored just once in 18 games for the club during the remainder of the 2010/11 season.

Torres’ fortunes did pick up though, and he won the FA Cup and the Champions League in 2012, as well as the Europa League in 2013, before leaving for AC Milan in 2014.

He then returned to Atletico six months later, winning another Europa League title in 2018 in his penultimate match before his move to Japan. Torres was arguably most successful on the international stage, and was an important member of the Spain side that won back-to-back European Championships in 2008 and 2012, as well as the World Cup in 2010.

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