Diego Simeone says Fernando Torres “represents everything” about Atletico Madrid after their victory over Marseille in the Europa League final.
Torres left Atletico for Liverpool in 2007 before returning to Madrid in 2015 and will leave his boyhood club for the second time at the end of the season.
The 34-year-old replaced Antoine Griezmann for the final minutes of Atletico’s 3-0 win in Lyon on Wednesday night and lifted the trophy, the first he has won with the club, with captain Gabi.
“For Fernando Torres, it’s a dream come true. I’ve never given him anything for free but he represents everything we’re about,” Simeone told reporters after the game.
“He has left a great legacy for his team-mates, for the club. I hope he gets the send-off he deserves on Sunday.
“The season isn’t over yet – we need a point to secure second in the Liga and we need to do that, to show that we can compete against our rivals.
“It’s been a challenging season and I think the Europa League represents more than a trophy: it’s a victory for everything we stand for, for hard work and industry.
“We’ve reinvented ourselves in this competition, and against Arsenal, we showed what we’re all about.”
Gabi also singled out Torres, who will play his final match for Atletico against Eibar this weekend.
“This cup has given us a lot,” he said. “Torres deserves it more than most – there’s no better way to say goodbye to Atleti.”