Former Liverpool and Chelsea forward Fernando Torres has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.
The forward, who has been most recently playing for Japanese club Sagan Tosu, posted the news to his 3.66 million followers on Twitter adding that he has called a press conference for Sunday to elaborate on his decision.
“After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career,” the 35-year-old wrote on Twitter, adding he would hold a news conference in Japan on Sunday to explain his decision
One of the most gifted forwards of this century, Torres came through the ranks at Atletico Madrid, where he was affectionately referred to as ‘El Nino’ – ‘The Kid’ – due to his boyish looks and early start in the team, for whom he made his debut at the age of 17.
Quickly identified as Atletico’s new hope as they tumbled into the Segunda Division, Torres even captained the side at the tender age of 19 as he begun to make his way in the game.
He helped Atletico gain promotion back to La Liga in 2002, and then consistently impressed in the Spanish top-flight over the next five seasons before a move to Liverpool in the summer of 2007.
The Spaniard flourished under the guidance of his compatriot Rafael Benitez at Anfield, scoring 81 goals in 142 games for the Reds as he established himself as one of if not the greatest forward in Europe for a period, also contributing greatly to Spain winning Euro 2008 and the World Cup two years later.
He joined Chelsea for £50million in January 2011, but injury and form issues meant that he was never able to consistently reproduce those Liverpool performances at Stamford Bridge, although he was part of the Blues side which won the Champions League in 2012 and Europa League the following year.
After a brief spell at Milan he rejoined Atletico. before seeing out his playing career in Japan.
In all, he has scored 260 goals in 760 career appearances at club level and a further 38 in 110 for Spain.