Maybe it's for the best - Fernando Torres to leave Atletico Madrid
Fernando Torres has announced he will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the season.
Atletico icon Torres has started just three LaLiga matches this term and was linked with a switch to the Chinese Super League in January.
The 34-year-old remained at the Wanda Metropolitano but will not be extending his stay beyond the expiration of his contract in June.
"I'd like to take the opportunity to say this season will be my last at the club," Torres told a news conference on Monday.
"It has not been an easy decision, it has been tough to take it. Given the reality, the circumstances, maybe it is for the best.
"It is very difficult for me to say goodbye for a second time, because my plan was to retire here. But things do not always go as you wish.
"I physically and mentally feel able to continue playing. I feel very well and I will look for somewhere else."
3 - Antoine Griezmann is the third Atletico player to reach 100+ goals in the 21st century (101 currently), after Sergio Agüero (101) and Fernando Torres (124). Prince. pic.twitter.com/anZ7oHpbab-- OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 28, 2018
Torres would have preferred greater clarity from the club over their position on his future.
"I think this is the best time to say it. You can all see the prominence I have and it is very little," said the World Cup-winning striker.
"Today isn't a day for reproaches. I am just trying to explain to the fans what I feel. It has nothing to do with the club.
"This year I'm playing a lot less than the previous one, but I have never surrendered.
"If they didn't count on me for next year, I would have liked to have been told."
Torres rose through the youth ranks and made his Atleti debut in May 2001, helping them earn promotion from the second tier the following year with what would prove to be his only piece of silverware for the club.
He joined Liverpool in July 2007 but returned to Madrid after disappointing spells with Chelsea and AC Milan.