Fernando Torres has announced that he will leave Atletico Madrid this summer.
In an emotional statement on Monday, the Spaniard revealed: “This will be my last season at the club. As you can see I am playing very little.
“I felt obliged to inform the supporters. It’s not been an easy decision. This is not a day for reproaches.
“It’s very difficult to say goodbye for the second time. My aim was to hang up my boots here. I want to keep playing for two, three or five years.”
It draws the curtains on what was a fairytale, albeit eventually disappointing, return to the club that Torres holds so dearly.
Nevertheless, just 17 goals across 79 games in the last two seasons has seen him fall below Kevin Gameiro, Diego Costa and Antoine Griezmann in the pecking order at the Wanda Metropolitano.
There were flickers of the old Torres brilliance, but he could never produce the consistent performances to win over Diego Simeone.
It is the latest reminder that the Torres who was widely considered the world’s finest number nine in 2008 is long gone. For such a loved player as Torres, it’s a very sad tale.