Fernando Torres has decided to leave Atlético Madrid in January according to reports, and while it may have been six months too late, El Niño has the chance to finish his career on a high in a league where he can still feature as a starter and resemble the striker he used to be.
The 33-year-old will have suitors in MLS and China given his pedigree and his resume.
Atlético have struggled for goals all season and with Torres on the bench and fifth choice behind Antoine Griezmann, Ángel Correa, Kévin Gameiro and even Luciano Vietto, he figures it won’t get any easier when Diego Costa and Vitolo arrive in January.
Torres, who many thought was finished back in 2012, has drained every last ounce of top flight football out of his career, and leaving Atlético should not be looked upon as some failure by club or player.
Very few players get to return to their boyhood club at the tail-end of their career and help guide them to a Champions League final. In the meantime, he managed to reach a century of goals and 303 games. The first is good enough for top on the all-time Atlético goalscorers list and the latter has him sitting in sixth, with another couple of months to add more. Torres had some business to finish at Atlético but he has done all he can do for the rojiblancos and the decision to move again seems like a wise one.
While there has been no official announcement yet, this gives him a chance to say goodbye to a club and fanbase that he owes nothing to. Three hundred games and 105 goals over two spells, along with his continued connection with the fans, most certainly grants him legendary status without a second thought.
While Torres has never explicitly stated his desire to get into coaching, you have to think he will return to the club in some capacity in the future.