Fernando Torres: Ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Spain striker reflects on career ahead of final game
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Last Updated: 21/08/19 11:37am
Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres says he can retire from the game knowing he has "won the respect of world football" during his illustrious career in the game.
Atletico Madrid academy graduate Torres will bring the curtain down on his career on Friday after taking to the field when his Sagan Tosu side host Vissel Kobe in the top-flight of Japan's J-League.
Torres joined Liverpool in 2007, scoring 65 goals for the club before a contentious 2011 move to Chelsea for a then-British transfer record fee of £50m.
"It's been an amazing 18 years, more than 18 years playing football," he said ahead of his final match on Friday.
"I won many things. I won the respect of world football, which is the most important thing for me, and now I have only one game left.
"So, I will make sure that I will enjoy from the first until the last minute and hopefully we can get the three points, which are very important for us, and hopefully I can score my last goal at home in front of Sagan Tosu fans.
"It's going to be a really special game for me, but it's not going to change the way I feel about my career. It's been fantastic. Much better than I could expect when I was a kid. So, I'm really grateful for what I did and really grateful to all my fans around the world."
Torres was a Champions League and Europa League winner while at Chelsea, and won the World Cup as well as two European Championships in an international career where he made 110 Spain appearances, scoring 38 goals.
Now aged 35, Torres says he has no regrets about his time in football and feels enriched after playing out the final year of his career in the Land of the Rising Sun.
"I always wanted to end my career playing football," he said.
"So I am really looking forward to play on 23 August, to be on the pitch alongside my team-mates, to run with them, to fight, and to try to win the match, because that's what I'm going to miss the most, to compete.
"I am really looking forward to that match (against Vissel Kobe), and after the final whistle, it will be over. Whatever happens on that day, my football career has been fantastic. I am very proud of it.
"I am also very happy (to end my career) here in Japan, where I stayed for a year, that has been very intense and where I have learnt a lot."