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Apr 23, 2014

Torres grateful for Atletico reception

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has told Canal Plus that being back at Atletico Madrid during Tuesday’s 0-0 Champions League semifinal first leg was emotional, while suggesting he would quite like a permanent return to the Estadio Calderon Vicente.

• Delaney: Who benefits more from the 0-0?

Former Colchoneros hero Torres was given a loud ovation by Atletico fans both before and after the game, during which he often cut an isolated figure in attack as his teammates concentrated on defending and getting a goalless draw.

The Madrid-born attacker said afterwards that he really appreciated the reception he had received from his former team’s supporters.

“It could not be more special than to return to the Calderon after seven years,” Torres said. “And it being the Champions League semifinals, with all that means for this club, it could not have been better.

"During the game you compete, which is what Atletico taught me, no matter what the situation. But before and after, it was very emotional. The reception before and after I will never forget. It is difficult to explain what I felt going onto the pitch, at the end of the game, when they sang my name. They have always given me more than I have given them.”

Pressed about whether -- as has been rumoured -- he might be returning full-time in the summer as part of complex dealings also including Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa, the 30-year-old answered by using Atletico coach Diego Simeone’s trademark catchphrase.

“I have been here today,” he laughed. “We must just go from game to game.”

Torres said that he still remained in contact with Simeone, with whom he played in rojiblanco colours for two seasons before leaving for Liverpool in 2007.

“We have been teammates for two years, and we have a good relationship,” he said. “This is a time to be enjoyed [for Atletico]. Apart from today and next Wednesday, I want him to win always.”

The Spain international defended the approach of Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho in the game, while also suggesting that Atletico should not be too disappointed with the result given the value for them of an away goal in next week’s second leg.

“Atletico kill you on the break with Diego and 'el Guaje' [David Villa], or with Diego Costa alone up front, so we need to avoid that,” Torres said. “Now on to Stamford Bridge. It is very open, the 0-0 is good for both teams, depending on how you look at it. For us because we are playing at home, and for Atletico because every goal of theirs will oblige us to score one more ourselves. It depends how you want to see it.”

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