Over the past five years, Fernando Torres has looked a shadow of the world-class striker who terrorised defences on a weekly basis during his time at Liverpool.
The Spanish striker was dreadful at Chelsea, following his £50 million transfer from Anfield, and failed to make an impact during his loan spell with AC Milan. Torres was handed a permanent contract with Milan in the summer of 2014, for some inexplicable reason, but joined Atletico on an 18-month loan deal the following winter.
The 32-year-old wasn’t particularly impressive during his first season back at the Vicente Calderon, where he first cemented his status as one of European football’s most exciting strikers, and the majority of his performances this season had also been underwhelming - up until the past few weeks.
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Torres has looked sharper than at any other point over the past five years and, crucially, has been scoring goals again.
But what has been the reason behind Torres’ unexpected return to form? Well, the man himself believes it’s because he feels excited and motivated for the first time in ages.
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Torres: The excitement and motivation is back
"I was at a point when I needed something to bring back the excitement, to feel motivated, to feel part of a group that wanted to compete,” Torres was quoted as telling Radio Marca by Goal. “I needed to believe in something and feel the excitement again and I couldn't find it anywhere else.
"Coming back here gave me what I needed in that moment. I was back fighting for something that I've always wanted. I'm lucky enough to have a family that has always supported my decisions."
Torres uncertain what the future holds
Despite the fact he has been performing well of late, however, there are no guarantees that Diego Simeone will agree to keep Torres at the Calderon.
Torres himself has admitted he’s currently unsure what the future holds but is concentrating solely on Atletico’s La Liga and Champions League campaigns.
"It's just unreal to be able to enjoy this moment with the team. It's fantastic," Torres continued. "I've had the luck to enjoy it from the stands, from my time at other teams, and being able to live in from the inside of the club is something special, I'm loving every minute.
"The future? No, no, I live in the present. The important thing is to live in the moment you're in."
Torres not thinking about Spain call-up
There has also been speculation that Torres could be handed a shock call-up to the Spain squad for this summer’s European Championships in France.
But the experienced centre-forward admits he isn’t even thinking about the possibility of representing La Roja again.
"I didn't ask for a call, and I don't want one,” he added. “What I would have liked will stay with me, because I don't want my words to harm the team.
"I have no problems with [coach] Vicente [Del Bosque] or the technical team."
Should Atletico Madrid keep Fernando Torres beyond this summer? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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