MADRID (Reuters) - Fernando Torres rounded off his Atletico Madrid career in style on Sunday by scoring two goals in his final game for the club against Eibar, although his side could only draw 2-2 in their last match of the Liga campaign.
Torres, who finally lifted his first trophy with his beloved club on Wednesday as Atletico beat Olympique de Marseille 3-0 in the Europa League final, tapped into an empty net in the 42nd minute to cancel out Kike Garcia’s opener.
The Spaniard then gave Atletico the lead on the hour mark, latching onto a through ball from Diego Costa and rounding the goalkeeper to score his 129th goal for the club. He was then booked for jumping over the advertising boards to celebrate with supporters.
Eibar’s Ruben Pena levelled for the visiting side with a scorching strike from outside the area in the 70th minute, after Atletico defender Lucas Hernandez had been sent off for two bookings.
Atletico were already guaranteed second spot in the Liga standings and finish the campaign on 79 points, 11 behind champions Barcelona who were in action against Real Sociedad later on Sunday.
Torres is idolised by Atletico’s fans, having come through the club’s academy and making his debut aged 17 in the 2000-01 team at a dark time for the club when they were in Spain’s Segunda Division.
The striker left Atletico for Liverpool in 2007 but returned to his boyhood side in January 2015 after playing for Chelsea and AC Milan. He revealed in April that he would leave Atletico when his contract expires on June 30 although he has not announced where his next destination will be.
Atletico wore commemorative shirts for Torres’s final game, for which he was named captain, and the squad and coaching staff gave him a guard of honour after the final whistle.
Torres was joined on the pitch by his wife, children and parents as he gave his farewell speech, needing to pause on occasion as he became overwhelmed with emotion.
“I have had the privilege to wear this shirt in over 400 games and it’s very tough to know that this is the final time,” Torres said.
“I would love for you to all remember how we feel now. We have all been asked many times why we support Atletico or why Atletico is different.
“When we say that they cannot understand it, that it can’t be explained, I’d like you to remember how we feel today, proud and happy to be champions.”
Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Christian Radnedge