Fernando Torres has named Steven Gerrard as the best player he played alongside as the Spaniard prepares to bid farewell to professional football.
The World Cup winner played with Gerrard for three-and-a-half years during their time together at Liverpool, during which he scored 81 goals in 142 games and helped guide the Reds to second place in the Premier League in 2008/09.
The Spaniard left Anfield in 2011 to join Chelsea in a shock £50 million deal, but he failed to replicate his Liverpool form, and has faced criticism ever since over his readiness to leave Merseyside.
And the 35-year-old, who will play his final game for Japanese side Sagan Tosu against Vissel Kobe on August 22, says the relationship he enjoyed with Gerrard at Anfield was the finest of his career..
"I always say the best player I played with is Steven Gerrard," he told reporters.
"I found he was the player who completed my game. I think my level got into a different dimension when I was on the pitch with him
"It was an amazing three-and-a-half years playing alongside Steven and I would love to go back to those days - even for one minute."
Torres announced his decision to retire last week, bringing to an end his 18-year career.
"I have a high demand for myself," he said.
"I've always wanted to be honest and to perform at the level I think I should and I think the time I will not be able to perform at the level I ask for myself is not far away, and I don't want to arrive at the time that I am going on the pitch and I'm not enjoying it."
Torres added that playing his final game against friends Andres Iniesta and David Villa, both of whom play for Vissel, seemed a fitting end.
"To say goodbye to football next to my dear friend Iniesta is something I could never imagine, and Japan is going to make it possible," he said.
"Also there will be my friend David Villa, with who I probably share the best moments in Spanish football history.”