OFFICIAL: Atletico Madrid forward confirms he will leave at the end of the season

Fernando Torres will bid adieu to Atletico Madrid at the end of the season when his contract runs out, the forward announced. Torres has started only three games and come off the bench on 17 occasions this season – scoring two goals.

The 34-year-old will now look to end his career elsewhere as he looks for more playing time.

“I want to take advantage of this opportunity to say this will be my last season at the club,” Torres said at a promotional event.

“It has not been an easy decision. Looking at the reality, the circumstances, perhaps it’s for the best. I accept that I’m not having much of a role, so perhaps this is the moment to step aside for others.”

Torres came through the ranks at Atletico winning his first important youth title in 1998 and became the club captain at the age of 19. In the years to come, many clubs would come to poach the sensation away with bids from Chelsea and Newcastle United waved away by the club board.

He finally left the club in 2007 to join Liverpool where he became an instant hit. In his three and a half seasons with the club, the Spaniard scored 65 goals in 102 games.

He, however, became disillusioned with the direction the club was headed after the departure of Rafa Benitez and signed for Chelsea in the January window of 2011 in a then British record deal reported to be worth £50 million, which set a new record for a British transfer and made him the sixth most expensive footballer in history.

He, however, failed to make a mark in West London – scoring 20 goals in 110 appearances before being shipped off to AC Milan. He bombed at the San Siro as well before returning for a second spell at the club in 2015.

He, however, has fallen down the pecking order in recent times and will look elsewhere to finish off his footballing days.

“It’s difficult to say goodbye for a second time because I wanted to retire here but things don’t always go as you want,” Torres said. “I feel physically and mentally able to keep playing. I am in good shape and I will look elsewhere for games.”

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