FERNANDO TORRES could make his Atletico Madrid return in a Copa de Rey match with crosstown rival Real Madrid two days after rejoining his boyhood club.
Atletico said in a statement yesterday that Torres will return to the club on loan from AC Milan next Monday, when the Italian transfer window opens. The move is subject to Torres passing a medical examination. "At last I'm returning back home," Torres wrote on Twitter. "Thanks to all who have made this dream come true."
The first match the striker would be available for is the first leg of the cup match against Madrid on January 7.
On Saturday, Chelsea sent Torres to Milan on a permanent basis, thus allowing the Italian club to loan him to Atletico.
Atletico said the 30-year-old Torres, who was born in the Madrid suburb of Fuenlabrada, "returns to his home, where he trained as a player and became one of its biggest stars".
Torres played his first official game for Atletico in 2001, when he was 17. He played in 244 games and scored 91 goals.
"When I was a boy my dream was to play for Atletico," Torres said. "I achieved it, and to return now is to fulfill another dream."
Torres joined Liverpool from Atletico and then went to Chelsea where he won the Champions League, Europa League and the FA Cup. He was also part of Spain's squad that won the World Cup and two consecutive European Championships.
However, Torres was hit by injury problems in his second season at Liverpool and had a right knee operation in April 2010. He has struggled with his form since.
He scored once in 10 appearances with Milan this season, on his first start with the club in September.