‘You made all my bad passes good ones!’ – Gerrard hails retiring Torres

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The veteran striker has quit the game after a career spanning nearly two decades, and a Reds legend took the time to praise his contribution

Fernando Torres hung up his boots on Friday but was given a special message from former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard as he did so.

His final match was Sagan Tosu's thumping 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Vissel Kobe of Andres Iniesta and David Villa, with the 35-year-old Spaniard unable to find the target.

It brought to an end an unspectacular couple of years in the J-League but was also the conclusion of a remarkable career that had seen the forward gain icon status at Atletico Madrid and Liverpool, as well as turn out for Chelsea and AC Milan.

Anfield, however, was where the striker was most prolific, netting 65 times in 102 league matches with the Reds.

Gerrard, who is now Rangers boss, sent his message of congratulations to his former colleague via video link.

“I wish you the best for the future, you had a really great career,” the Englishman said. “I loved playing with you and spending time in the dressing room with you. I’d love to relive those days.

“When I got the ball in midfield, I knew you would be running behind the opponent’s defence and that I could find you straight away. You changed all my bad passes into good ones and I got plenty of assists!

“I wish you good luck to you and your family, and I’m looking forward to the day in the future when our paths cross again.”

Torres, meanwhile, spoke to the fans and took time to praise both the club and the country.

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“Thanks to all of Japan for accepting my family,” he said. “I hope you know that it is a wonderful country.

“I’ll be sure to return to Japan and visit various places to eat delicious food. I want to relive my time here again.”

Torres quits the game having won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, but it was on the international stage that he attained the most fame, netting Spain’s winning goal in Euro 2008 before playing a key role as La Roja picked up their first World Cup trophy two years later in South Africa.

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