Fernando Torres, whose time as a Chelsea player spanned 2011 to 2014, has brought the curtain down on his playing career with an announcement on social media on Friday morning.
The striker, who is now 35 years old and has most recently been playing in Japan, posted the news on Twitter.
He wrote: ‘I have something very important to announce. After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career.’
During his three-and-a-half years at Stamford Bridge Torres helped Chelsea lift the Champions League, the Europa League and the FA Cup.
A World Cup-winner and a European champion with Spain, he joined Chelsea from Liverpool in January 2011 with his most memorable highlights with us including his Champions League semi-final breakaway against Barcelona at the Camp Nou, which made certain that the team would go through to our famous final in Munich, and the goal that helped beat Benfica to lift the Europa League trophy a year later. He also won the corner from which Didier Drogba headed our equaliser against Bayern Munich in the first of those two European finals.
Torres continued to share in Spain’s international success while at Chelsea. He helped his country to a second successive European Championship in 2012, securing the Golden Boot in the process.
In a busy 2012/13 season his 22 goals were spread over seven competitions, a club record.
Following what was initially a loan spell, he joined AC Milan on a permanent basis in December 2014 having scored 45 goals in 117 starts and 55 substitute appearances for Chelsea. He later returned to his first club Atletico Madrid before spending the past year at Sagan Tosu in Japan.
We wish Fernando a happy retirement.