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By ESPN Staff

Torres extends contract with Atletico to 2009

MADRID, Sept 13 (Reuters) - Spain striker Fernando Torres has agreed a contract extension with Atletico Madrid until 2009, the Primera Liga club said on Wednesday.

'It is an important day for the club and it's fans because Torres is more than just another player,' Atletico said in a statement on their website.

'He was developed through our youth system and for some time now has been the reference for the club on and off the pitch.

'He is an example for all the youth players who dream of playing in the Vicente Calderon one day.'

The official presentation of his one-year extension will take place on Sept.19.

The 22-year-old international was a reported target for Manchester United and Inter Milan after the World Cup, but he rejected their approaches to stay with Atletico.

Torres joined the club aged 11, scored his first goal with the first team in May 2001, and has been their leading scorer in each of the last four seasons.

He has notched up 14 goals in 37 appearances with Spain.

After a disappointing 10th-place finish in the league last year Atletico have spent around 50 million euros ($64 million) reinforcing their squad and are expecting to challenge for a Champions League place this season.