Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone drew parallels between Fernando Torres and Andres Iniesta as he paid tribute to the pair’s influence on football.
Torres and Iniesta are both set to leave Spain at the end of the season, with the Atleti striker to say his farewell in the home match against Eibar on Sunday.
The outgoing 34-year-old, who has been heavily linked with a move to Major League Soccer, fittingly marked his final week at the club he joined as an 11-year-old with a Europa League triumph over Marseille in midweek.
Just as Torres soaks up the adulation of the Wanda Metropolitano crowd, the scenes will be mirrored at Camp Nou, where Iniesta is due to sign off from a decorated 16-year senior career.
“They’re privileged people. I think they’re so big and did so many important things in football that football pays them back,” Simeone said of the Spain internationals.
“They will leave with an amazing list of achievements.
“They are gifted because they always make the right decision. That’s something to learn about.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 18, 2018
Simeone, meanwhile, is just as focused on ensuring second place is secured in the final round of the LaLiga season.
The Rojiblancos are assured of second place after Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw with Villarreal on Saturday.
“We have a special game because Fernando is leaving and we all want to give him the farewell he deserves, with a victory and a full stadium,” Simeone said.
“We will all work together in order to make an unforgettable evening for Fernando.
“Even if it seems worthless, it’s the confirmation of a job well done if you win the Europa League and finish second… that means you had an amazing season.”
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