Fernando "El Niño" Torres to bid farewell to Atleti...
I was disappointed to see that Simeone failed to give "El Niño" Torres playing time at the Bernabéu on Sunday. That's no slight on Gameiro who himself is a fine striker but there was a sense that this could have been Torres' last ever game at the Bernabéu and it would be nice for him to have said goodbye to the home crowd. Enemies are also to be remembered and for many, the Bernabéu fans witnessed countless games with Fernando Torres representing the pure essence of Atlético. There were tough time for the city neighbours, as Real Madrid enjoyed the "galactico" era as Atlético dropped into the second tier. "El Niño" was with the club during the darkest days and endeared himself to the nation with his performance for the Spanish national team.
Torres was neither a ‘one club man’ enjoying spells with Liverpool, Chelsea and AC Milan... When he returned to the Calderon, things had changed dramatically. Atleti were no longer looking for mid-table stability but now a force to be reckoned with in the European game and had become a player in the global game. Torres' departure delivered an important injection of funds but it was with "La Roja" where he gained his international high profile. Torres was initially under the tutelage of Atleti legend Luis Aragonés bagging the winner for Spain over Germany in Vienna at Euro 2008 and then going on to win the South Africa World Cup with Del Bosque in 2010.
He returned to his club some years ago and to be honest at the time it felt like he had never left. A huge crowd of 25,000 turned out at the Calderon on a bitterly cold January morning to witness his presentation on his return. He was happy to accept the role Simeone had designed for him as a secondary striker with the bulk of his action coming in second half performances from the bench. He performed well in this capacity and was effective bagging plenty of goals along the way. Now the time has come to say farewell and it's a shame he couldn't do this at the Bernabéu as I have no doubt that he would have received a cordial round of applause for never throwing in the towel with Atleti in a time when Madrid dominated the capital derbies. A poor move from Simeone in my opinion.