Former-Chelsea striker Fernando Torres calls time on his footballing adventure
Photo by Scott Heavey via Getty Images

Former-Chelsea striker Fernando Torres calls time on his footballing adventure

One of the most renowned names in the business closes the curtain on an illustrious career. 

Nathaniel Kay

Fernando Torres will play his final professional fixture on Friday with his current, and last, team, Sagan Tosu, as they host Vissel Kobe in the Japanese J-League.

Torres announced the news in June that he felt it right to conclude his journey which had taken him to the very summit of achievements in the game.

His move to Asia last July wrapped up an epic tour of Europe that lasted 17 years, including spells in England with Liverpool and Chelsea

Catching the eyes of England

Atletico Madrid was the proverbial footballing birthplace of Torres, (actually born in Fuenlabrada) as he rose through their youth ranks into the first team.

By 2007, he'd notched up a staggering 244 goals in 214 games and a promotion from the Segunda Division that did not go unnoticed by several interested parties.

Liverpool landed the striker and it was not long before he'd discover his shooting boots; his first campaign ended with 24 Premier League goals. In total, he netted 81 goals in 142 appearances across all competitions for the Reds, making two PFA Team of the Year and coming third in the 2008 Balon D'Or.

Unsatisfied at seeing their rivals own such a vital weapon, Chelsea splashed £50 million (a then-record fee for a British transfer) on the Spaniard to bring him to Stamford Bridge in 2011. 

Admittedly, his league tally was weak in comparison to his record with the Reds (just 20 goals in 110 games) but this did not halt his trophy haul expanding.

In 2011/12, Torres helped the Blues win the FA Cup and more noticeably, the Champions League, with his goal against Barcelona sending Chelsea into the final.

From Milan to Madrid

A Europa League medal would follow the season after but the lethal finisher he was on Merseyside had begun to go missing. As a result, he was loaned out to A.C Milan.

Just one goal in Serie A would not be sufficient to re-sign Torres, meaning there was only one place he was destined to move to: Madrid.

His boyhood club initially brought him back on loan before signing him permanently in 2016. Another Europa League victory would accompany a Champions League runners up medal after defeat to Real Madrid in Milan. 

Sagu Tosun would be his ultimate destination as he reminded everyone of his scoring prowess, finding the net on 38 occasions in 34 matches. 

Spain's star

It is argued that Torres' international career outshone him domestically and it is fair to see why.

At the 2006 World Cup, he finished as Spain's top scorer with three goals despite crashing out to eventual winners France in the round of 16.

His success would not stop there. 2008 witnessed the beginning of Spain's global dominance as they become European Champions, whilst Torres netted against Germany in the final.

Although he did not score throughout the tournament, Torres and Spain lifted the 2010 World Cup, held in South Africa.

The last piece of the puzzle was another European Championship glory, Poland and Ukraine laid hosts in 2012 as Torres picked up the Golden Boot (three goals, one assist).