Diego Simeone wants 'absolute legend in football' Fernando Torres to return to Atletico Madrid
Diego Simeone has paid tribute to 'absolute legend' Fernando Torres and says he hopes they work together again at Atletico Madrid in the future.
Former Atletico, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spain forward Torres, 35, played his final professional match for Japanese club Sagan Tosu last week.
Torres enjoyed a hugely successful 18-year career, helping Spain win the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship in both 2008 and 2012.
And Simeone, who managed Torres during his second spell at Atletico having earlier played alongside him, wished him well in his retirement.
'Fernando is a very intelligent boy and an absolute legend in football,' Simeone said.
'He has earned this thanks to his commitment, his hard work and his respect to others because wherever he was in his career, he had a very classy image.
'This was not just as a footballer but as a person and I guess it will take him a while to get prepared for the new place he decides to be, as he will want to be diligent with the responsibilities he has.
'Hopefully this will not take so long, so that we can work together once again [at Atletico].'
Torres scored 121 goals in 350 games for Atletico during his two spells with the club.
His farewell match didn't quite go to plan, however, as Sagan Tosu lost 6-1 to a Vissel Kobe side containing his former international team-mates Andres Iniesta and David Villa.
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