Sunday 18 August 2019

'Gerrard was the best player I played with,' insists Torres

Steven Gerrard during his days at Liverpool. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA
Steven Gerrard during his days at Liverpool. Photo: Peter Byrne/PA

Jamie Holland

Fernando Torres singled out former team-mate Steven Gerrard as the best player he has played with as he announced he will hang up his boots in August.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker, who has been playing in Japan for Sagan Tosu since leaving Atletico Madrid last year, held a press conference to explain why he's retiring after an 18-year career.

Torres (35) said he wanted to leave football with a "clear conscience" and before he felt he could not carry on.

"I have a high demand for myself," Torres said. "I've always wanted to be honest and to perform at the level I think I should and I think the time I will not be able to perform at the level I ask for myself is not far away... I don't want to arrive at the time that I am going on the pitch and I'm not enjoying it.

"I want to put an end before that happens.

"Knowing my body and listening to my body, I think especially mentally that time is not far away and I want to finish my career in a good way before that happens."

Asked who had made the biggest impression during his career, the Spaniard, who played at Anfield between 2007 and 2011, did not hesitate to name his former captain.

"The best player I played with is Steven Gerrard. I found he was the player who completed my game. I think my level got into a different dimension when I was on the pitch with him. It was an amazing three-and-a-half years playing alongside Steven and I would love to go back to those days - even for one minute."

Torres revealed his last game is on August 23 against Vissel Kobe, playing against friends Andres Iniesta and David Villa.

"To say goodbye to football next to my dear friend Iniesta is something I could never imagine, and Japan is going to make it possible.

"Also there will be my friend David Villa, with who I probably share the best moments in Spanish football history. So to say goodbye to football next to two very good friends - we share too many memories together - will be something great.

"I tried to find an iconic moment to play my final game and I think that is the perfect timing."

Torres also spoke of his next steps and his desire to connect with Atletico Madrid in the future. "I don't know if it will be coaching or managing. I will study both things," he revealed.

"I'm sure it will be something related to football because it's been my life."

Speaking of his home-town club, he said: "Atletico Madrid is my life, so probably we will connect some way in the future but not immediately. I will not be back to just be a face... if I go back it will be for big things, to take the club to the next level."

Torres scored 81 goals across four seasons with Liverpool and won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup with Chelsea.

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