Spanish striker Fernando Torres on Sunday said he wanted to take some time after his formal retirement from professional soccer but did not rule out the possibility of coaching or managing some team in the future.
Torres, who is currently playing at Japanese club Sagan Tosu, confirmed in a press conference in Tokyo that he will play his last game on August 23 against Vissel Kobe, which has Spanish players Andres Iniesta and David Villa in its ranks, reports Efe news.
“I want to leave soccer with a clear conscience,” Torres said at the press conference, hosted by his club.
Torres arrived in Japan in July last year. He had a long professional career spanning 18 years in which he has played with Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea, Milan and Sagan Tosu.
Dressed entirely in black, Torres said he wanted to say “goodbye to soccer” with a match he “could have never imagined,” against his “friends,” Iniesta and Villa.
The striker declined to clarify whether he would like to take on some role in Atletico Madrid but said that the team “is my life.”
The 35-year-old said he had been playing soccer for many years, 18 years as a professional, but he explained that to take on new roles he would need to receive proper training.
In response to questions by reporters, Torres said he had decided to retire as a professional player because he thought that “mentally and physically” he could not continue performing effectively.
“I knew that the time would come,” he added.
Although he will play his last game with Sagan Tosu on August 23, he will remain as an adviser for the team, which despite being in the bottom spot of Japan’s J1 League, has “great potential,” according to Torres.
But he insisted that he would first take some time to rethink his future, enjoy being with his family and prepare himself well for the future in order to take on new roles “related to soccer”