Fernando Torres finally retires from football after 18 years

Fernando Torres finally retires from football after 18 years

- Fernando Torres has announced his retirement from football after 18 years

- The 35-year-old suffered heavy defeat in his last game for Japanese side Sagan Tosu

- Torres won a Champions League and two Europa League cups among other titles

Former Liverpool striker Fernando Torres has announced his retirement from active football at the age of 35.

The Spaniard kicked his last ball for Japanese topflight side Sagan Tosu in their 6-1 defeat to Andres Iniesta's Vissel Kobe having spent just one season with the Asian outfit.

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Before his move to Japan, the forward spent two seasons at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadiumm and helped Atletico Madrid win the Europa League title during his reign at the club.

He also scored 13 goals in 58 matches - most of which he started on the bench for Diego Simeone's side back then.

The Mirror however reveals that compatriots Iniesta and David Villa were around to bid the forward farewell while he penned an emotional message to all his fans.

One of the most decorated footballers in the world says: "When I was five years old, I started playing football with my brother. Thirty years later I will play my final match as a professional.

"Today I look back and can hardly believe everything I have lived through. I feel very fortunate to have been able to win the most important trophies in the world and play for some of the most prestigious clubs.

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"There are also the successes with the Spanish national team; I have experienced feelings of great emotion and happiness. I wanted to thank football for making me so happy.

"But I don't want to forget the most authentic part of the sport, the part which makes it so wonderful: the fans."

He continues: "Thanks to each and every one of the fans of the teams I played for, loving, cheering and respecting me. Also, to rival fans because you made me a better player.

"I hope it made you enjoy my football and inspired you in some way. Never stop chasing your dreams, it has been a real pleasure. Thank you, football."

Torres started his career at Atletico Madrid before joining Liverpool - where he scored 65 goals in 102 appearances.

He joined Chelsea in 2011 and was part of the golden generation that inspired the Blues to Champions League glory seven years ago.

The 35-year-old was also at AC Milan for two seasons before returning to Atletico and then retires in Japan.

He won one Champions League (2012_, two Europa Leagues (2013 and 2018) among several other domestic titles but failed to lift the Premier League at either Liverpool or Chelsea.

Torres lifted the FIFA World Cup title in 2010, with two UEFA European championships alongside FIFA Confederations Cup.

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