Fernando Torres Completes Transfer to Japanese Side Sagan Tosu

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2018

TOPSHOT - Atletico Madrid's Spanish forward Fernando Torres claps during the Spanish league football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and SD Eibar at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on May 20, 2018. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Former Liverpool and Chelsea star Fernando Torres has completed a move to Japanese side Sagan Tosu, joining former Barcelona man Andres Iniesta in the J1 League.

Torres completed the transfer as a free agent after his contract with Atletico Madrid expired:

サガン鳥栖公式 @saganofficial17

/ Welcome to #sagantosu 👏 \ #elnino #fernandotorres 🔴⚪has decided to join us 🔵⚽ 🇪🇸🔜🇯🇵 More details 🔻 https://t.co/zxDdxmG8CV https://t.co/feG2CKFNsj

Iniesta joined Vissel Kobe at the end of last season.

Torres said goodbye to Atletico in style, bagging two goals in his final appearance for the Rojiblancos, a league win over Eibar. He was in his second spell with the Spanish club after coming up through their academy before departing for Liverpool in 2007.

The 34-year-old became one of the most feared strikers in all of Europe in the Spanish capital before his move to the Premier League. His scoring form declined after he joined Chelsea in 2011 for a then-British transfer record fee of £50 million, while injuries also started to take their toll.

After a spell with Italian giants AC Milan, Torres returned to Atletico, where he was able to recapture some of his past glory―even if the goals didn't return. In his penultimate match with the Rojiblancos, Torres made a substitute appearance in the 89th minute as they beat Marseille 3-0 to capture the Europa League.

With the national team, Torres won two European titles and a World Cup, while he also added two UEFA Europa League titles and a UEFA Champions League at club level.

According to sportswriter Vince Rugari, a move to MLS was also an option for the Spaniard and even seemed more likely of late:

Vince Rugari @VinceRugari

have to say that's a bit of a surprise. Talks between Sagan Tosu and Torres broke down earlier this month, chiefly because he and his management didn't like that it had leaked out to the press. i'm guessing some bonus yen washed away those concerns.

Sagan Tosu were promoted to the J1 League in 2012 and have achieved a highest finish of fifth place in their existence. Former Watford and Cagliari forward Victor Ibarbo also plays for the club.