Fernando Torres has said that the Europa League final victory with his boyhood club was more emotionally satisfying than winning the World Cup with Spain or the Champions League with Chelsea.
Torres, 34, is leaving Atletico for a second time this summer, having first departed for Liverpool in 2007. Since then he has scored Spain’s winning goal in the Euro 2008 final, won the 2010 World Cup and the 2012 Champions League — before returning “home” in January 2015.
“El Nino” has not been a regular starter during his second spell at the club, but, after coming on as a substitute in Wednesday’s 3-0 victory over Marseille, he told reporters postmatch that he would now be “forever grateful” having achieved his “boyhood dream.”
“On an emotional level this is the highest,” Torres said. “In my career I could win many trophies, I had the luck to play in great teams, to be part of the best generation of Spanish players who achieved everything there is, but when you have a dream since you were small, like this, to win with your team… When I left I did not think I would ever do it, but what I was taught was that if you battle hard then you can achieve things. I am forever grateful.”
“We had to keep going,” Simeone said at the postgame news conference. “The best way to win is to keep insisting, we had already lost two Champions League finals, one in the last minute, and then penalties, but these kids are the living history of Atletico, they are marvellous.
“First of all they are very strong men, and afterwards they are footballers who have grown year after year. The team began the game with some difficulties, but as time went on, and with the goal, we got comfortable. We have won again, which was what we needed.”
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