Fernando Torres has hailed Steven Gerrard as “the best player” he featured alongside during his illustrious career.
The Spanish striker recently announced he will retire after Sagan Tosu’s match against Vissel Kobe on August 23, bringing the curtain down on a career which has seen him win World Cup and European Championships at international level, as well as the Uefa Champions League and Europa League.
Although none of his major honours came during his 142-game spell with Liverpool – in which he scored 81 goals – he says the former Merseysiders’ captain completed his game after the pair struck up a lethal partnership as part of Rafa Benitez’s side.
“I always say the best player I played with is Steven Gerrard,” Torres said.
“I found he was the player who completed my game. I think my level got into a different dimension when I was on the pitch with him.
“It was an amazing three-and-a-half years playing alongside Steven and I would love to go back to those days – even for one minute.”
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With just four goals and two assists in 32 appearances, Torres has struggled to find his feet since moving to Japan in 2018 and at 35, the forward feels the time is right to hang up his boots.
“I have a high demand for myself,” he added.
“I’ve always wanted to be honest and to perform at the level I think I should and I think the time I will not be able to perform at the level I ask for myself is not far away and I don’t want to arrive at the time that I am going on the pitch and I’m not enjoying it.
“I want to put an end before that happens. Knowing my body and listening to my body, I think especially mentally that time is not far away and I want to finish my career in a good way before that happens.”
Fernando Torres’ career: Five key things to know…
- Torres announced he will retire from football this August.
- He has represented Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, AC Milan and Sagan Tosu.
- At club level, he scored 260 goals and won five major honours.
- He also scored 38 goals in 11o Spain caps, winning three major honours.
- Torres has named Gerrard as “the best player” he’s played with.