Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has insisted he is ready for the game of his life as the Rojiblancos prepare to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has insisted he is ready for the game of his life as the Rojiblancos prepare to face Real Madrid in the Champions League final. The teams face off in in Milan on Saturday with Atletico gunning for revenge following their heartbreaking loss at the same stage of the competition two years ago. They were beaten 4-1 in the 2014 final in Lisbon after Sergio Ramos equalised in the third minute of injury time before three extra-time goals from Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo won the trophy for Real for a 10th time. Torres has won all seven career finals he made the squad for, and scored Spain’s only goal in the Euro 2008 final success against Germany and in the 4-0 Euro 2012 final win over Italy, plus Chelsea’s 2013 Europa League victory over Benfica. He also won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, but said Saturday’s clash at the San Siro eclipses everything. The former Liverpool striker told a press conference: “Without a doubt it’s the most important, the most special match that I’ve played in my whole career. “Anything that I can achieve with the club that gave me the opportunity to play football, the club I was a fan of since I was five years old, will be different from any other final. I’ve been lucky enough to win many things with Chelsea, with the Spanish national team, but this is special, it’s different. “Madrid are a great club, they are one of the best in the world without a doubt. We live in the same city with them, and that makes us more eager to fight, very hopeful to get to change history, we have a chance to write a page in the history of Atletico that no one has written yet.” Torres has scored 12 goals this season after returning to the Vicente Calderon last year and was on target in their final two league games as Atletico finished third in La Liga. They ended two points behind Madrid and three adrift of winners Barcelona and are now looking to ensure Madrid end the season trophyless but boss Diego Simeone insisted they are a different side to the one which lost the 2014 final. He told reporters at the pre-match press conference: “The club, the players, and the base that has been with us for four-and-a-half years, manages to reinvent constantly. There are possibly 10 players different from those who were in the (last) final and I think that it is the most valuable thing that this team has. “We work to continue growing, keep improving, keep insisting. In the long run, chances arise for those who insist.” Simeone, who has no injury worries, is looking to become just the third non-European coach to win the competition after fellow Argentinians Luis Carniglia (with Real Madrid in 1958 and 1959) and Helenio Herrera (with Inter Milan in 1964 and 1965). He added: “Playing a final is something fantastic, winning it is supreme. Everything that involves reaching a final presents you with an experience and the situation to continue preparing to live with those moments. “It is not easy, you have to work and as I have said, the best thing is to insist, prepare again, get up, go back to work, reinvent yourself, don’t change the structure or the system, don’t change the identity or the commitment. When you’re persistent on what you believe in, you can (do it).”