Torres sets new transfer fee record

Updated: 05 July 2007 16:16 IST

Fernando Torres declared his heart will always be with Atletico Madrid after completing his move to Liverpool on Wednesday.

Torres sets new transfer fee record

Madrid:

Fernando Torres declared his heart will always be with Atletico Madrid after completing his move to Liverpool on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old Spain striker agreed a six-year contract with the Reds with the transfer fee reportedly worth euro36 million (US$49 million). He will be presented at a Liverpool news conference at 1500 local time (1400 GMT).

The transfer fee will break the Liverpool record 14 million pounds that then-manager Gerrard Houllier paid Auxerre for France striker Djibril Cisse in July 2004.

Nicknamed "El Nino" after joining Atletico's youth squad at the age of 11, Torres cut short a holiday to Polynesia to finalize personal terms worth reportedly 90,000 pounds (euro133,300; US$182,000 ) a week.

"I received an offer and I asked the club to listen but the final decision was mine," Torres said. "It was a difficult decision, but I think it's a big step forward. The offer was difficult to refuse and it's good for everybody. My heart will always be Atletico."

Torres is Atletico's ninth-highest all-time scorer with 82 goals in 214 matches since making his debut in the Spanish second division against Leganes in 2001. Atletico gained promotion the following season.

Torres, who scored 14 league goals in 33 games as Atletico finished seventh last season, will wear the No. 9 shirt at Anfield made famous by Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush. But Torres said it wasn't Atletico's erratic form that made him leave.

"I think I've shown that in waiting it out over all of these years," said Torres, who has also scored 14 goals in 42 games since making his debut for Spain in 2003.

Atletico has signed former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan from Villarreal to replace Torres.

The 28-year-old Uruguay international scored 54 goals in 106 games in three seasons at Villarreal, sharing Europe's golden boot award as the continent's top scorer with Thierry Henry in 2005.



Topics : Football Fernando Jose Torres Sanz
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