The World Cup winner is hoping to end his distinguished career where it all began, with a one-year contract extension set to take him through to 2018

Former Chelsea and Liverpool striker Fernando Torres is hoping to retire at Atletico Madrid and end his career “genuinely happy”.

The World Cup winner returned to his roots in 2015, with an initial loan switch from AC Milan allowing him to head back to the Spanish capital.

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Torres had started out with Atletico, with his exploits after graduating out of the club’s academy system seeing him handed the captain’s armband at 19 as he quickly secured legendary status.

A spell at Liverpool delivered a healthy return of goals, but the 33-year-old was happy to put troubled spells at Chelsea and Milan behind him when Atletico came calling once more.

He is now hoping to hang up his boots with his boyhood club, with a 12-month contract extension set to take him through to 2018.

Torres told reporters on his future plans: “This is where I feel genuinely happy.

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“I am at home. I came back to Atlético after eight years and this is where I feel genuinely happy.

“My desire is to play for Atletico and retire here while also winning trophies and helping the club to continue to be one of the best in Europe.

Fernando Torres Atletico Madrid retire

“That is the only option I have in my head at the moment.”

Torres was offered a dream homecoming by Diego Simeone and will be forever grateful to the Argentine for what he has done for both him and Atletico as a club.

He added: “Simeone has reinforced the belief that has always been what this club is about.

“I came to Atlético when I was 10 years old and the club taught me about that.

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“There are always periods in the history of a club when things are difficult and you can lose that identity a little but with El Cholo we have recovered all of our values: sacrifice, humility, fighting spirit… and if we all pull in the same direction we can continue to compete with the big and powerful clubs.

“The big clubs have written their history in years gone by and everyone else now has the opportunity to write new histories in their own way and that is the path that Atlético is on right now.”

Atletico will be writing a new chapter in their distinguished history during the 2017-18 campaign as they prepare to make the Wanda Metropolitano their new home.

They have bid farewell to the iconic Vicente Calderon arena, with Torres having netted the final goals at that venue during a 3-1 victory over Athletic on the final day of last season.