Fernando Torres is back at Atletico Madrid, and upon being unveiled before 40,000 fans, has revealed his desire to win titles with the club.
The Spanish international initially linked up with Los Rojiblancos as an 11-year-old boy back in 1995, before becoming a key member of their first team and captain at just 19. He left his boyhood club in the summer of 2007 when Liverpool had an offer of £20million accepted, and he had an immediate impact in England, scoring 24 goals in 33 Premier League matches in his debut season.
Although his form dipped towards the end of his time at Anfield, this didn’t deter Chelsea from paying a British record £50million for his signature in January 2011. But despite helping the Blues win the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup double in 2012 and the UEFA Europa League the following year, his time in London was disappointed as he failed to produce anywhere near his best form.
When Jose Mourinho made it clear he was surplus to requirements, Torres was sent to Milan ahead of the current season on a two-year loan deal, effectively ending his time at Stamford Bridge. Again struggling to find his feet, he scored just one goal in 10 Serie A matches, and talk of a return to Atletico increased in December when the Rossoneri showed an interest in Alessio Cerci.
To ensure a swap deal was completed, the Italian giants agreed to take the 30-year-old from Chelsea on a permanent deal when the January window reopened. Just two days later he was sent back to the Vicente Calderon on loan until the end of next season, with Cerci set to be announced by Milan in the coming days. After being unveiled by the Spanish champions on Sunday afternoon, in front of 40,000 fans, Torres revealed his ambition to deliver glory to his beloved club.
“I have been in contact with the club all these years and when we saw it could happen and everyone agreed it was not difficult,” he said. “I was a 24-year-old kid. It was very hard [to leave], the hardest decision of my career. I left to help the club grow and time has proven it to be right. The club has improved in every way and I have won the titles I was looking for. I want to win titles here.”
Torres, who is not cup-tied for the Champions League so could face Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 and – who knows – possibly Chelsea later on in the competition, could make his debut in the Copa del Rey last 16 first leg clash against Real on Wednesday night. His second La Liga debut could then come on Sunday night, when Diego Simeone’s men take on Barcelona at the Camp Nou.
Will this return to Atletico help Torres finally find his very best form? Let us know what you think by joining in with the discussion below.