Fernando Torres: Former Liverpool, Chelsea & Spain striker to retire

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Torres scores winning goal in Euro 2008 final

Spanish World Cup-winning striker Fernando Torres has announced he is to retire from football.

Torres, 35, played at Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea in his 18-year career and is currently at Sagan Tosu in Japan's J1 League.

In 110 games for Spain, he scored the winner in Euro 2008 and was on target in their Euro 2012 final win.

"After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career," he said on social media.

Torres said he will hold a news conference in Tokyo on Sunday to "explain all the details".

His career started with Atletico, before a £20m move to Liverpool in 2007, where he scored 81 goals in 142 games.

In 2011, he was signed by Chelsea for a then British record transfer fee of £50m.

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Torres scores 'cracker' for Spain at 2006 World Cup

Although he failed to replicate his goalscoring form at Stamford Bridge, he was part of the Blues' Champions League-winning team in 2012.

He also won the FA Cup and scored in their 2-1 win against Benfica in the Europa League final in 2013.

After 45 goals in 172 games at Chelsea and a brief four-month loan spell at AC Milan, he returned to Atletico in late 2014.

He finished on the losing side as Atletico lost the 2016 Champions League final to Real Madrid, but won a second Europa League in 2018 - his final appearance before moving to Japan.

Torres, who is Spain's third highest goalscorer with 38, played in six major tournaments including their 2010 World Cup triumph.

"During his career he became a legend by his own merits, and left an unforgettable mark both in the field and in the hearts of everyone he worked with," said Atletico.

El Nino's career in pictures

Fernando Torres holds the World Cup
Fernando Torres won two European Championships and the World Cup with Spain
Fernando Torres
Torres made his senior debut for Atletico in 2001 when they were playing in Spain's second division
Fernando Torres
At age 19 he was made captain
Fernando Torres
In 2007 he joined Liverpool for £20m under manager Rafael Benitez
Fernando Torres
He scored 33 goals in his debut season - only Mohamed Salah (44 in 2017-18) has ever scored more in his debut season for the Reds
Fernando Torres
At Euro 2008 he scored the winner in the final to give Spain a 1-0 victory over Germany
Fernando Torres
Torres endeared himself to Liverpool fans with his performances against Manchester United
Fernando Torres
Torres won the World Cup in 2010 in South Africa, coming on as a substitute in extra time in the final
Fernando Torres
His move to Chelsea in 2011 for £50m was a then British transfer record and the fourth biggest in the world at that point
Fernando Torres
His greatest moment in a Chelsea shirt was his injury-time winner against Barcelona at the Nou Camp which sent Chelsea through to the Champions League final where they beat Bayern Munich on penalties
Fernando Torres
He scored the third goal in the Euro 2012 final as Spain beat Italy 4-0 - he is the only player to score in two European Championship finals
Fernando Torres
He joined AC Milan on a two-year loan in August 2014, but left for Atletico four months later
Fernando Torres
In his two spells at Atletico he scored 121 goals in 350 games
His final game for the club was the Europa League final in 2018
His final game for the club was as a 90th-minute substitute in the 2018 Europa League final defeat of Marseille

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