Europa League Title Would Be Perfect Torres Farewell, Says Simeone

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Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone believes winning the Europa League title would be the ideal way for Fernando Torres to leave the club.

Torres has confirmed he will leave Atleti when his contract expires at the end of the season, having struggled for minutes since the January arrival of fellow former Chelsea forward Diego Costa.

The 34-year-old helped Chelsea to Champions League and Europa League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge, with MLS and China mooted among his possible future destinations.


Atletico are in a strong position to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, having beaten Sporting CP 2-0 in last week's first leg thanks to goals from Koke and Antoine Griezmann.

And Simeone hopes Atletico - 11 points behind Barcelona in the LaLiga table - can win the Europa League to allow club icon Torres to go out on a high.

"It would be important for Fernando to win, as it is for us to be with him," Simeone told reporters on Wednesday. "It is important to be together, that this title means something important.

"He is the most successful player in club history at the moment and that title would be the icing on the cake.


"Fernando, whenever he does something, is very thoughtful. If he chose it, it was because it was the best time for it.

"Leave it parked for now and focus on winning the title that is what we all want."

Asked if he regretted not utilizing the Spanish striker more, Simeone was categorical in his response. 

"No, I was responsible for Torres coming back to us, I was the one who did the most to see that happen. But obviously I have played a part in his decision to leave, at least that's how I feel about it.

"I don't regret anything because I have always made myself very clear - however many mistakes I might make I am always transparent." 

Roma's stirring Champions League comeback against Barca has shown Atleti they can take nothing for granted ahead of their visit to Lisbon.

"It was a warning for everyone, not only for Sporting," Simeone said.

"It's wonderful for football to have matches like this, in which a team can turn around a situation like that.

"We're going to face a team that will give it their all and will count on the support of their fans. We'll have to seize control of the match.

"[Jorge Jesus] is an important and intelligent coach. He's going to do everything he can to try and turn this tie around.

"They're a very competitive team. They suffered from an early goal in the Wanda Metropolitano and in the end of the match, they had chances to score. It'll be a tough and intense match."