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23rd of April 2018

Sport



Diego Simeone Lauds Fernando Torres as Veteran Begins Long Goodbye With 100th Atleti League Goal

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone hailed Fernando Torres and labelled him an "icon" following the frontman's volleyed finish during his side's 3-0 win over Levante on Sunday afternoon. 

Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann placed Atleti into an all but unassailable lead with two finely-taken goals, which El Nino added to in a similar fashion 13 minutes from time. 

Earlier in the week, the 34-year-old announced that he would be leaving the Wanda Metropolitano at the end of this season, bringing a close on the Spaniard's second spell at his boyhood club.

And he commenced his long goodbye by securing his 100th LaLiga goal for Los Colchoneros, something Simeone revealed to Marca post-match that epitomises the striker's legendary status. 

"Fernando is an icon here, whether he's scoring goals or not," the Argentine explained. "He's earned this status and respect through hard work.

"When I called him to sign for us, I told him I wanted him to come as a football player and not an idol.

"Fernando's performance was as important as that of the whole team. We made three very beautiful goals, having everybody pulling in the same direction is what works for the team.

"People care that Fernando has incredible feelings for this club, it makes me happy to have helped him live with this team once again."

Ahead of the contest, there were concerns surrounding Atleti's readiness following their midweek Europa League defeat in Portugal, but Simeone was proud with how his players applied themselves throughout.

"I was happy with the reaction we had in the second half", he intimated. We had to win, the team always reacts.

"If you saw the match today and then someone tells you that we also played on Thursday, they wouldn't believe you." 

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