LEGENDARY striker Fernando Torres hung up his boots last week after closing the curtain on a successful 18 year career during his final match with Japanese side Sagan Tosu.
His announcement came after a 6-1 defeat by fellow Japanese team Vissel Kobe which featured ex Spain teammates Andres Iniesta and David Villa.
Tributes and praise flooded in from fellow players following the 35-year-old star´s announcement.
Former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard made a special video message for the Spanish striker,
“Congratulations on an incredible career. I used to love playing with you, sharing the dressing room with you.
“I wish we could go back to those days, knowing you could run behind defenders and I could find you with passes, and you turning all my bad passes into good passes. They’re the days I miss.”
Torres had a career with some of the biggest clubs in the world including Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan. He also had two successful periods with his boyhood club Atletico Madrid.
He made his international debut for Spain in 2003 before scoring the winner in the Euro 2008 final against Germany. He also helped his country win the World Cup in 2010 and retain the Euro 2012 title.
He won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup with Chelsea plus the Europa league with Atletico but was at his most prolific for Liverpool where he scored 81 goals in 142 games.
Torres will continue in Japan as an advisor for the J-League side Sagan Tosu.
“Starting with the president, I could understand the true passion shared by everyone at this club, that there is a dream for the future and a great plan,” Torres was quoted as saying by Kyodo News Agency.