Fernando Torres insists both he and Atletico Madrid have improved since he left to join Liverpool just over five years ago.
The Chelsea striker returns to the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday when Spain take on France in a World Cup qualifier, a match he says he is looking forward to.
“I can’t wait for the match to start so I can enjoy playing again here. I’m sure the stadium will be full and the fans will be right behind us,” he told TVE.
“A lot has happened in the last five years. We had to part ways and fortunately everything has improved. I’m a better player and the club has also grown, so hopefully it stays that way for a long time.”
Torres also spoke about the style of play employed by Vicente del Bosque’s side, which often plays without a recognised striker.
“Sometimes we play with a No 9 and sometimes without. Anyway, in the national team it is difficult to get into the team in any position.
“The good thing about it is that other players have come in and we haven’t got any worse. We always play the same way.”