Interview with Fernando Torres: ‘Atleti is home’

Fernando Torres has signed a new one-year contract extension to stay at Atletico Madrid for the 2016/17 season.

The announcement comes amidst months of speculation regarding Torres’ future, despite having allegedly agreed to terms with the club ‘before the team flew to Milan’ for the Champions League Final. A-League club Sydney FC even pitched a bid for his services.

“It’s really great news for all the Atletico supporters, among whom I include myself. I am very happy to be part of, and belong to Atleti again,” Torres said. “I’m glad to be back home. This is the only place I ever wanted to be and in the end my dream has come true.”

During last season there was lots of talks about other possible destinations that may have been better but in the end, this was the best possible solution. So it’s one more year. I am very happy to be here.”

Torres, the prodigal son of Atletico Madrid, played an important role in the 2015/16 campaign, most notably scoring a decisive goal against FC Barcelona in the Champions League Quarter-Finals, before being sent off moments later. Contributing 12 goals across all campaigns last season, Torres said he was looking forward to bettering this next season.

“Collectively, which is the most important thing, we must continue to compete at our current level in all competitions. Over the last few years we have been through a process of growth and we know we can improve.”

Since returning to Atletico from AC Milan at the beginning of 2015, he hasn’t been afraid to show his emotional attachment to the club nor his dreams to become one of the Atleti’s best.

“Personally, I hope to have a great year, score lots of goals and continue to rise up the all-time scorers table. I’d like to work at surpassing Adelardo, perhaps Peiro; keep getting closer to the best scorers in the history of the club and make it another year to remember,” he said.

He continues to describes the ‘pride’ he feels, wearing the Atleti shirt week-in, week-out.

Those who support Atletico choose to feel, regardless of the results and how everything goes. We do not understand the context of good and bad moments. We enjoy the current one, which is very good, but we have chosen to feel, and we are still feeling the same thing we felt when we were kids and we put the Atleti shirt on.”

Torres will be joining Atletico Madrid on their post-season trip, which will include a series of games against Melbourne Victory and Juventus at the MCG at the International Champions Cup.

Jacob Arnott