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Fernando Torres retires from professional football

Former Liverpool and Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has announced his retirement from football.

The 35-year-old Spaniard has been playing in Japan since leaving Atletico Madrid last year.

He scored 81 goals across four seasons with Liverpool and won the Champions League, Europa League and FA Cup with Chelsea.

A World Cup winner with Spain in 2010, Torres said on Twitter: ‘I have something very important to announce.

‘After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career.’

After breaking through at hometown club Atletico, Torres moved to Liverpool in July 2007 and scored 24 Premier League goals in his first campaign in England.

Torres had already won both the 2008 European Championship and South Africa-hosted World Cup with Spain and he conquered Europe for a second time with La Roja in 2012.

Liverpool and Chelsea both wished Torres well in retirement, tweeting video highlights of his goals.

Atletico said they were: ‘Very proud of a legendary career.’