Fernando Torres has revealed the biggest regret of his second Atletico Madrid spell – ‘winning much less than we deserve’.
Torres scored a brace to salvage Atleti a 2-2 draw with Eibar in both his final game for the club and their last game of the season, and the former Spain striker was given his own platform to wave goodbye to his boyhood team after the match.
"I would like to give a message of thanks to many people, sorry to whoever I’ve missed out,” he began.
“I’d like to start with all those who are no longer with us, above all Luis Aragones, who showed me the way forward.
“I want to thank my grandfather, who gave me the greatest gift a child could be given – the gift of becoming an Atletico fan.
“I also want to thank my family, my mother for her great sacrifice, my father for his advice, not missing a single game and teaching me the values that Atletico later reinforced.
“[I thank] my brothers, who spent their savings to buy me [Atleti] shirts and visit me; my wife, who has been a pillar in my life, was always by my side when times were bad and gave me three children, who are a treasure. Of course, they are three more Atleticos.
“I want to thank all those who were by my side teaching me, my teammates, the coaching staff, medics and all the people there.
“These three-and-a-half years have been magnificent, those who were here and those who have arrived know what Atletico represent. I’m very proud of them all.
“Now I’lI leave you alone, but surely you [Atleti] are going to get what we all know football owes us. This group have won much less than they deserve, and they have to win things.
“Finally, to the whole Atletico family, I never needed trophies to feel like the most loved player in the world.
“I’ve always had the certainty that I could never give back so much, no matter how much I did, and I reaffirmed that today.
“A week before my debut, I was with you and there have been 404 games since. It’s very hard to come to the end.
“I’d like you to always remember how we feel now. When they ask us why we support Atletico, remember the happiness of now, the pride and feelings of belonging to a big family when bad times come or people from the outside want to divide us.
“All I have left to say is that it’s been a source of pride, an honour and a privilege to wear this shirt and play with this group of lads, who have left their lives in every game.
“You’ve made me feel like the happiest person in the world. Finally, I ask my teammates and family to join me in a lap of honour, while you [fans] sing our club song, which is the most beautiful thing in the world.”