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Torres waves goodbye to Atletico on a high

Torres waves goodbye to Atletico on a high

LYON, May 17: It's a measure of how much Fernando Torres means to Atletico Madrid supporters that some were even critical of Diego Simeone, and his assistant in the technical area German Burgos, for waiting until the 90th minute to put him on last night, reports The Daily Mail. He did get his hands on a trophy at long last but he didn't get a touch of the ball. With the score at 2-0 from minute 59 minutes he could have come on sooner, they argued. Supporters have been split at times this year as Simone refused to give in to sentiment and used Torres sparingly in what was always going to be his final year, even before he announced his departure at a promotional event in April. From the outside it looks a no-brainer: Simeone. who has transformed Atletico Madrid in seven years from a perpetual also-ran to one of the most competitive and decorated teams in Europe. Or Torres who has scored 127 goals for the club in 403 games, left for Liverpool just as he was reaching his prime, and came back when he was largely a spent force. But he's one of theirs. Even more so than Simeone. The images of him as a freckled ball-boy jumping up and down to songs about Simeone at the Vicente Calderon tell them that much. He debuted with them aged 17 and captained the side when he was only 18. And perhaps most importantly he has said time and again during his career the magic words: 'I will never play for Real Madrid'. That earned him their eternal support. 'When I made my debut with Atletico I had achieved what I wanted to. All the rest was a gift,' he told beIN Sports in a recent interview. His return to the club in 2015 saw supporters fill the old stadium just to see him put the club's shirt on again and wave to the stands with his two young children at his side. They wanted him to bow out in style in much the same way as Xavi did at Barcelona with a treble in 2015 and Andres Iniesta has done this season with a double. Simeone has stubbornly resisted to play to the script and last night was inkeeping with that - a 90th minute substitution gave him just enough time to run on before the whistle was blown.

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