Fernando Torres joined the Atletico Madrid youth team in 1995, when he was 11.
Twenty-three years later, after a long sojourn away, Diego Costa fed him a through ball for the ages, and El Niño rode off into the Atletico sunset.
His final goal, his final game, before continuing the gig somewhere else.
“From child to legend,” they displayed on handheld cards in the stands. With his family on hand, a captain’s armband over his sleeve, and the crowd going wild as he knocked the ball just wide of the keeper, then shot it home for the lead.
His 128th career goal for the club.
En la vida todos necesitamos quien vea algo especial en nosotros y nos dé una oportunidad. Cuando tenía 10 años estos señores me dieron una calificación de 11 sobre 10. Gracias Manuel Briñas y Manolo Rangel por elegirme, sois parte imprescindible de mi historia. #deniñoaleyenda pic.twitter.com/G7GB7axFH1
— Fernando Torres (@Torres) May 22, 2018
It was his second of the day, the first coming on a layoff pass from Angel Correa in a 2 v 1 break in the 43rd minute.
And this one, from Diego Costa—himself on his third career stint with Atletico. Starting from 2007-09. Again from 2010-14. Now, again, in 2018.
A chest trap at midfield, a touch, a scan, a perfect run-on ball threaded through the gap as Torres ran on for the finish.
As if the entire club decided to look one way only:
Torres. Torres. Torres.
And to give a hero a hero’s exit.
In his last game for Atletico, Fernando Torres scored a brace in Atletico's 2-2 draw v Eibar
What a way for El Nino to sign out! pic.twitter.com/LgYr6QY3Jf
— Bet9ja.Official (@Bet9jaOfficial) May 21, 2018