Fernando Torres says Steven Gerrard was the best player he played alongside during his career.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker, who has been playing in Japan for Sagan Tosu since leaving Atletico Madrid last year, announced his retirement at the age of 35 over the weekend.
The ex-Spain international said he wanted to leave football with a ‘clear conscience’ and before he felt he could not carry on mentally or physically in the game.
“I have a high demand for myself,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to be honest and to perform at the level I think I should and I think the time I will not be able to perform at the level I ask for myself is not far away and I don’t want to arrive at the time that I am going on the pitch and I’m not enjoying it.
“I want to put an end before that happens. Knowing my body and listening to my body, I think especially mentally that time is not far away and I want to finish my career in a good way before that happens.”
Torres spent four years at Anfield with Gerrard as his captain and, despite their failure to win a Premier League together, it is the former Reds midfielder that takes high praise.
“I always say the best player I played with is Steven Gerrard. I found he was the player who completed my game. I think my level got into a different dimension when I was on the pitch with him,” he added.
“It was an amazing three-and-a-half years playing alongside Steven and I would love to go back to those days – even for one minute.” Liverpool are 3.50 to win next season’s Premier League title.