Torres hints at coaching after hanging up boots

Spain's World Cup-winning striker Fernando Torres leaving a press conference in Tokyo after announcing his retirement yesterday.
Spain's World Cup-winning striker Fernando Torres leaving a press conference in Tokyo after announcing his retirement yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

TOKYO • World Cup winner Fernando Torres yesterday revealed he was enticed by a future career in the dugout after admitting his body could no longer cope with the physical demands of football.

The Spaniard, who tweeted his retirement as a player last Friday, also announced that his last game for J-League side Sagan Tosu, whom he joined from Spanish LaLiga club Atletico Madrid last July, would be against Vissel Kobe, whom former Spain teammate Andres Iniesta plays for, on Aug 23.

The 35-year-old Torres, once one of the deadliest marksmen in the world, said: "I have a high demand of myself - I always want to be honest and perform at the level I think I should.

"Knowing my body and listening to my body, especially mentally, that time is not far, and I wanted to end my career in a good way before that happens.

"I always gave everything I had and I still will give in the next two months."

Asked about the future, Torres, who scored La Roja's winning goal in the Euro 2008 final and played a key role in their 2010 World Cup triumph, told a news conference in Tokyo that he would continue in an advisory role for Sagan, likely identifying Spanish youth players for the Kyushu-based club.

He also did not rule out becoming a manager or coach back in Europe.

Torres, who named his former Liverpool teammate and captain Steven Gerrard as the best player he played alongside, added: "I just need time to spend with my family and think about my next step - I don't know if it will be coaching or managing.

"I will study both things, and just wait for the call."

Another emotional return to Atletico, his boyhood club, is also on the cards after he earns his coaching badges.

The former fan favourite said: "When I was a kid, I got a calling to become a football player. I'm sure this kind of calling comes too. You don't have to look for them."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2019, with the headline 'Torres hints at coaching after hanging up boots'. Print Edition | Subscribe