Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has become the latest luminary to congratulate Fernando Torres on a trophy-laden career following the decision to hang up his boots.
The former Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Chelsea forward has ended his playing days with Sagan Tosu in Japan at the age of 35, and made his farewell appearance in a 6-1 defeat to Vissel Kobe – a side which ironically featured his former colleagues Andres Iniesta and David Villa.
Lampard played alongside the Spaniard for three seasons at Stamford Bridge following his £50 million move from Merseyside in January 2011 – a fee that became a British transfer record at the time.
The pair went on to create history with the west Londoners, winning the Champions League in 2012 for first time in the club’s 107-year history.
After arriving in the English capital, the 2010 World Cup winner struggled to replicate the kind of goalscoring form that saw him net 81 times in 142 appearances for Liverpool.
He marked his first season with the Blues with a solitary goal in 18 games, and failed to reach double figures in any of the next three campaigns.
But despite an uncharacteristic lack of goals, the man who lifted two European Championship trophies with his home country in 2008 and 2012 retained his knack of winning trophies, and added the FA Cup and Europa League to his haul.
Lampard said Torres had enjoyed “a fantastic career” and also called him “a really good man” and “a good friend”.
“We are still in touch,” he added. “He was in touch when I hung my boots up and I did the same for him, because there’s respect there and he was very good in the dressing room.
“He had some tough times here (at Chelsea) but he had some big moments too, and in his career he had huge moments.
“A huge congratulations on his career and I wish him well in whatever he chooses to do now.”
Torres’ professional playing career spanned 18 years in total, from his days as a promising young striker with Atletico Madrid to his final competitive fixture in Japan.