Fernando Torres, minutes after it was confirmed he was to rejoin Atlético on an 18-month loan deal, appeared at the GlobeSoccer Awards event in Dubai. Appearing alongside club president Miguel Ángel Gil, Torres spoke of his journey since leaving Atleti, and his excitement to be back.
“I’m so happy,” he said while on the panel. “I can’t hide where I come from. Hopefully I can get a flight to Madrid as soon as possible.”
“It’s a dream come true. I’m looking forward to meeting up with my team-mates, to begin training and enjoy the best football place in the world.”
Seven-and-a-half years since leaving Atlético, Torres has since moved from Liverpool to Chelsea and then Milan, with varying fortunes.
“Chelsea gave me what I was looking for when I left Liverpool – that was trophies. I’ll always see it as a success,” he said.
At Stamford Bridge, Fernando Torres won the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup in the same season, before going on to win the UEFA Europa League the following season.
He struggled for form though, and was eventually loaned out to AC Milan following the signing of Diego Costa.
“When I decided to go to Milan, it was to get minutes and I was told I would be a key player for them. Unfortunately, after a few months I was not part of the coach’s plans, a decision I respected 100 per cent, and it forced me to look ahead and find another destination.”
“I’m now looking for happiness, and there’s no better place for that than at Atleti.”
“Many things have happened since I left Atleti, but the passion to return has always been there for me in my head. I’ve been waiting many years.”
Gil Marín junto a Fernando Torres en Dubai, durante una conferencia de los Globe Soccer Awards pic.twitter.com/0JNiB03NjA
— Víctor Molina Pozo (@VictorMolina7) December 29, 2014
Miguel Ángel Gil has stressed the distance that both parties had travelled, but joy that Torres was returning.
“In 2007 we decided to go our seperate ways, and to grown on our own. And so we did,” the club president said. “Since then, Fernando has won the World Cup, two European Championships and the Champions League.”
“We’ve won four international championships, and three in Spain, including the League.”
“Now, in 2014, we meet again.”