Fernando Torres: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard best I've played with

Steven Gerrard is the best footballer Fernando Torres has ever played alongside, the Atletico Madrid striker said of his former Liverpool teammate.

Torres spent three and a half seasons playing at Anfield alongside Gerrard as the Spain centre-forward enjoyed the most productive goalscoring spell of his career, netting 81 goals in 142 appearances.

The 31-year-old has also played alongside the likes of Diego Simeone and Koke at Atletico, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano at Liverpool, and Didier Drogba, Eden Hazard, John Terry and Frank Lampard at Chelsea.

On the international stage, Torres won Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 alongside Spain stars including Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas and David Villa.

However, asked by Marca Plus magazine to pick out a player who had the "perfect characteristics," he said Gerrard -- who will join MLS outfit LA Galaxy this summer -- was his top choice.

"It is difficult to say as I have had the good fortune to play with so many great players," Torres said. "For me the best is, and has been, Gerrard. I would choose him, above all, to have him behind me in my team.

"Steven Gerrard is the best footballer I have played with over my career, so my ideal footballer would be very similar to him."

Torres also said he was considering coaching youngsters once his playing career comes to an end.

"I do not know what will happen in the next stage of my life," he said. "Maybe I will end up as coach or not, but I would like to work with kids. That would be something nice. I believe it is important they get good early education, and the club [Atletico] is currently doing good work in that area.

"I compare it to when I started out, and they have better opportunities to become a player."