April 9 (UPI) — Spanish forward Fernando Torres has decided to leave La Liga club Atletico Madrid after the season.
The 34-year-old announced the decision on Monday.
“This is going to be my last season at the club,” Torres said at a news conference. “It hasn’t been an easy decision and it has been tough to make, but I feel obliged to tell the fans.”
“You can see that my role has been very limited. I believe it’s the right time to announce it. My conscience is clear and I believe I’ve given everything I could. My idea had been to hang up my boots here.”
Atletico said it will pay tribute to the veteran talent during the last La Liga match of the season against Eibar on May 20 at Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain.
“Fernando is a legend in our club, we have always said that he would have the decision regarding his future because this is his house, and if he has decided to continue his professional career in another place starting next season, I can only thank him for everything he has given to us, which is a lot, and tell him that he will always have the doors to Atlético de Madrid open when he decides to finish his career as a football player,” Atletico president Enrique Cerezo said in a news release from the club.
“Fernando Torres deserves the best of farewells as a player of Atlético de Madrid, and that is why I am sure that the fans will join us on such a special day. We are already working to make it an unforgettable day for the Atlético family and especially for Fernando.”
Torres has appeared in 20 La Liga games, with three starts this season for Atletico. He has two goals.
Torres began his senior career with Atletico, playing for the squad from 2001 through 2007. He played for Liverpool from 2007 to 2011, before joining Chelsea from 2011 through 2015. He suited up for Milan before returning to Atletico on loan during the 2015 and 2016 season and eventually coming back full time.