ATLÉTICO

Torres gifts century shirt to the man who discovered him

‘El Niño’ brought up his century against Eibar and as soon as the game had ended, raced over to an old friend - Manuel Briñas
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Torres gifts century shirt to the man who discovered him
CURTO DE LA TORRE AFP

There was one man who Fernando Torres instantly thought of when he reached 100 goals for Atlético on Saturday. ‘El Niño’ poked in the winner in the 3-1 win over Eibar to reach a century of goals for the club – a feat he had been waiting months to achieve. On the final whistle, he sprinted over to Ángel Manuel Briñas, the man who founded Atlético’s youth football school back in the 1970s; today, Briñas is in charge of coordinating ball boys on match day even though he can only walk with the aid of a crutch.

Their friendship goes back to 1995, when a 15-year-old Torres was one of around 200 schoolboys to take a trial at the club. Briñas instantly spotted the teenager's talent and advised the club to sign him. The shirt with which Torres scored his 100th goal isn’t the only one he has gifted the 80-year-old – he also has a framed, signed shirt in which the striker netted his first hat trick with Liverpool, against Reading at the Madekski stadium on 25 September 2007 – just weeks after signing for the Reds.

Fernando Torres and Manuel Briñas.