Fernando Torres gets hero's welcome on his return to Atletico Madrid at Vicente Calderon
Madrid, Jan 5 (IANS) Tens of thousands of Atletico Madrid fans packed the Vicente Calderon Stadium to welcome Fernando Torres back to his former club. The 30-year-old Spain international was on Sunday officially presented to the fans and the press on an emotional day which saw him return to the place where he began his career as a teenager, reported Xinhua.
Torres made his Atletico debut when he was just 17 years old and would go on to become the club captain and score 82 goals before joining Liverpool in 2007.
He said on his departure to England that he hoped to one day to return to the club he loved and Sunday saw that dream come true as Torres returned as a double European Cup and World Cup winner with Spain.
Torres' transfer had been announced last week, but was only completed Sunday with the opening of the Italian transfer market that saw him officially sold to AC Milan by Chelsea and subsequently loaned to Atletico until the summer of 2016.
Speaking to the press, Torres said he had only left Atletico seven years ago "in order to allow the club to grow in sporting terms. I never really understood that," he said.
However, Atletico has grown and Torres returns to the reigning Champions of the La Liga.
"I saw it all happen from the outside and now I want to be able to enjoy it from the inside. I have been lacking something and that is to win a title here. I know I am returning to a very competitive side," said the striker, who had watched Saturday's 3-1 win over Levante from the directors' box.
Torres will wear the number 19 shirt on his return to the club and admitted that he had a responsibility to not disappoint. He could make his debut on Wednesday as Atletico entertain Real Madrid in the Kings Cup.