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Torres hints at Atletico return

ESPN staff
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Fernando Torres left Atletico Madrid for Liverpool in 2007 © Getty Images
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Chelsea striker Fernando Torres says being back at Atletico Madrid during Tuesday's 0-0 Champions League semi-final first leg was emotional and hinted at a return to the Estadio Calderon Vicente.

Torres was given a loud ovation by Atletico supporters before and after the game, during which he often cut an isolated figure in attack as his team-mates focused on keeping a clean sheet.

The Madrid-born attacker told Canal Plus afterwards that he was touched by the reception from his former team's fans .

"It could not be more special than to return to the Calderon after seven years," Torres said. "And it being the Champions League semi-finals, with all that means for this club, it could not have been better.

"During the game you compete, which is what Atletico taught me, no matter what the situation. But before and after, it was very emotional. The reception I will never forget. It is difficult to explain what I felt going onto the pitch, at the end of the game, when they sang my name. They have always given me more than I have given them."

Torres was pressed about whether he might be returning full-time in the summer as part of potentially complex transfer dealings, with the futures of Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who is on loan at Atletico, and Diego Costa, who is wanted by Chelsea, up for discussion.

His response was to use a trademark catchphrase from Atletico coach Diego Simeone, with whom he remains friends after the pair played together for two seasons before the striker left Madrid for Liverpool in 2007.

"I have been here today," Torres laughed. "We must just go from game to game."

On Simeone, he added: "We have been team-mates for two years, and we have a good relationship. This is a time to be enjoyed [for Atletico]. Apart from today and next Wednesday, I want him to win always."

Torres defended the approach of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in the game, while also suggesting that Atletico should not be too disappointed with the result given the value for them of an away goal in next week's second leg.

"Atletico kill you on the break with Diego and el Guaje [David Villa], or with Diego Costa alone up front, so we need to avoid that," Torres said.

"Now on to Stamford Bridge. It is very open, the 0-0 is good for both teams, depending on how you look at it. For us because we are playing at home, and for Atletico because every goal of theirs will oblige us to score one more ourselves. It depends how you want to see it."

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