Playing Real Madrid in the final European match at the Vicente Calderon would have meant just as much to Fernando Torres as the most passionate Atletico Madrid fan inside the stadium on Wednesday night.
Torres is Atletico through and through, which is probably why Diego Simeone started him ahead of Kevin Gameiro.
Unfortunately for Torres, he failed to make an impact and was subbed off for Gameiro in the 56th minute, when Atleti required three goals to advance to the Champions League final.
Perhaps Simeone withdrew Torres fearing the 33-year-old striker might end up doing something stupid, like getting himself sent off.
The former Liverpool and Chelsea forward was involved in a heated spat with Cristiano Ronaldo just before the interval - but what made him lose his cool?
Why Torres lost it with Ronaldo
Spanish newspaper AS believe they know the reason why.
When Isco scored Madrid’s all-important away goal in the 42nd minute, Ronaldo reacted by shushing the Atletico fans, who had made a proper racket during the opening 45 minutes.
Watch what Ronaldo did here…
Ronaldo knew the tie was over
Ronaldo was acutely aware that Isco’s goal effectively killed the tie. Atleti, having scored twice in the opening 16 minutes through Saul Niguez and Antoine Griezmann, were back to square one heading into the half-time break.
Torres then shoved Ronaldo
However, the four-time Ballon d’Or winner’s gesture to the Atleti fans is understood to be the reason why Torres went face-to-face with him before giving him a shove.
Ronaldo knew better than to react aggressively and just laughed it off, which seemed to wind Torres up even more.
A red card would have led to him missing next month’s final against Juventus, and Zinedine Zidane will be delighted with the way his star man handled the situation.
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