ATLÉTICO - BAYERN

Alonso talks up Torres' Euro 2016 chances

Ahead of his side's Champions League tie with Atlético, the Bayern man has backed his former team-mate to go to France this summer.

Xabi Alonso habla sobre el Atlético de Madrid y Fernando Torres
EFE

Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has backed compatriot Fernando Torres to earn a place on the Spain plane to Euro 2016, speaking of his delight at the striker's good form for Atlético Madrid.

However, the 34-year-old hopes his former Liverpool team-mate puts his recent scoring exploits on hold as the pair's clubs face off in the Champions League semi-finals.

"He's a really good friend of mine after everything we experienced together," Alonso said of Torres, with whom he shared a dressing room at Anfield for two seasons - and tasted European Championship and World Cup glory with La Roja.

Torres celebrates his winner at Athletic Club last Wednesday.

But Alonso added: "Out on the pitch we won't be friends."

Torres returns to contention for Wednesday's last-four first leg after serving a suspension for his quarter-final red card against Barcelona, and goes into the clash having grabbed five goals in his last six appearances for Los Rojiblancos.

"I'm really pleased for him that he's back to his best," Alonso said. "He looks happy at Atlético. The fans love him, he's an idol. I hope he keeps it up - but only after this tie."

And with France 2016 coming up, he talked up Torres' prospects of earning an international recall: "If he carries on playing like this, he'll be in with a shout of going to the Euros, but that's a decision for [Spain coach] Vicente del Bosque."