What a career Liverpool legend Fernando Torres had.
He won the Champions League, the Europa League and the FA Cup during his time in England, whilst he also got his hands on two European Championship trophies and a World Cup with Spain – he was arguably one of the best strikers of this century.
Whilst he came through the youth system at Atletico Madrid, it was at Liverpool where he truly blossomed into a world star.
Here, we walk you through his career at Anfield with the help of five symbolic pictures.
Torres made his debut for Los Rojiblancos as a 17-year-old, and soon became a hero at the Vicente Calderon. In 184 matches in all competitions in his first spell with Atletico, he scored 81 goals, soon reaching a point where he was too big for the club. It was in 2007 when he finally departed, joining compatriot Rafael Benitez at Anfield for £20m. That was a big fee at the time, but he would prove to be worth every single penny.
Steven Gerrard was the top dog when the Spaniard arrived on Merseyside, but there was no in-fighting to become the star man at the club – they worked perfectly in tandem.
Gerrard assisted the striker’s first goal for the club, against Chelsea, and they would end up playing 117 times together. The England international assisted Torres 14 times, whilst the former AC Milan forward returned the favour on 10 occasions – he has not linked up for more goals with any other player during his entire career.
Torres did enjoy playing against Manchester United, Liverpool’s fiercest rivals.
He scored three goals and provided one assist in eight matches against the Old Trafford outfit for the Reds, but it was often his all-round play that was too much for the 20-time English champions to handle.
Nemanja Vidic is one of the best defenders in Premier League history, but he always struggled against Torres. He said of the Reds’ number nine: “Torres was a top player. At the time he was probably the best striker in the league. He scored a few goals against United”. High praise indeed.
Torres was brilliant for Liverpool, but he was pretty special for Spain, too. All in all, he scored 38 times in 110 caps, and arguably his greatest moment for La Roja came in the Euro 2008 final against Germany.
In a tight affair, he scored the only goal of the game as Spain triumphed 1-0, with the victory setting them off on a period of domination that would see them win the next two major tournaments as well – that kind of performance only added to his reputation.
Here, Torres is seen leaving the field dejected after picking up an injury against Blackpool. Unfortunately for him, that was to become too common a theme. A recurring knee problem saw him miss 15 matches during the 2009/10 season, and a previous thigh issue didn’t help either.
He would never rediscover his top form at Anfield, or indeed ever again, even after joining Chelsea for £50m in January 2011. Still, 81 goals in 142 games for the Reds was a wonderful return, and he is no doubt one of the best to pull on the liver bird this millennium.