Torres has always been my inspiration - Koke

The rising midfield star admits he still looks up to the former Atletico Madrid striker as he prepares to face his Chelsea side in the Champions League semi-finals
Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke says Fernando Torres remains an "inspiration" to him as he prepares to face Chelsea on Tuesday.

The Blues striker is set to face his boyhood club for the first time since leaving for Liverpool in 2007 as Jose Mourinho's side visit the Liga leaders in the Champions League semi-final first-leg.

Despite the Spain international's travails in London, Koke insists he still looks up to the 30-year-old as he prepares for "the most important game" of his career.

"Fernando Torres has always been an inspiration for me," the 22-year-old is quoted as saying by "I'm sure all the fans will be happy to see him here. We wish him all the luck in the world, but not in the game.

"To play a Champions League semi-final with the team you have supported as a child is a dream. If I'm picked it will be an incredible experience for me. [It] could be the most important game of my life."

Fellow midfielder Raul Garcia is expecting a fierce physical battle with Mourinho's men at Vicente Calderon and has stressed the importance of keeping a clean sheet.

"Chelsea play more or less the same way as us. It will be a physical game," he said. "We don't fear them; we are talking about football. They are a strong rival but instead of fear we have respect.

"They have very good players; highlighting just one is difficult. We know how we have to prepare. We know we will have to look to have a good defence and makes sure they don't score.

"We are aware of the importance of the match but we must only focus on the game. We need to block out information from the press and other sources. We need to concentrate only on playing the game."