Fernando Torres will leave Atletico Madrid at the end of the current season when his contract expires.
Torres, 34, made the announcement on Monday as he calls time on his second spell with his boyhood club.
The Spanish striker has seen his minutes diminish this season under Diego Simeone and he was an unused sub in their draw at rivals Real Madrid on Sunday, as Atletico stay on track to finish second in La Liga.
“This will be my last season at the club. As you can see I am playing very little,” said Torres. “I felt obliged to inform the supporters. It’s not been an easy decision. This is not a day for reproaches. It’s very difficult to say goodbye for the second time. My aim was to hang up my boots here. I want to keep playing for two, three or five years.”
Torres has scored 126 goals at Atletico after breaking into the team as a teenager and the club said he is a “legend” and he will always be welcome to return. He will be honored in their final home game of the season against Eibar on May 20 for his services to Atletico.
The Spaniard, who won the World Cup in 2010 as well as the European Championahips in 2008 and 2012, played for Liverpool and Chelsea in the Premier League, winning the Champions League with the Blues in 2012 before returning to Atletico in 2014.
What next for Torres?
He has said he wants to keep playing for at least another two seasons and with no transfer fee to acquire him, this seems like a player who could be perfect for MLS.
Yes, Torres has struggled to break through at Atletico in the past few seasons as Antoine Griezmann’s star has risen but there’s no doubting his pedigree.
That is why MLS clubs and teams for the Chinese Super League will line up to take him this summer.
And yes, MLS are trying to limit the amount of veteran stars they sign from Europe but with the recent signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the likes of David Villa ripping it up at New York City FC, there’s always room for a player of Torres’ quality.