Coaching Atletico Madrid Under-19s against Liverpool Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday must have felt a little strange to Fernando Torres.
The Spanish striker spent three-and-a-half happy years at Liverpool, where he became a firm fan favourite before making the controversial decision to leave Anfield for Chelsea in January 2011.
The anger that many Liverpool fans felt towards Torres has largely subsided over the past 10 years. He received a warm reception from the Anfield crowd when he returned to play in a Jamie Carragher charity match in March 2015.
"Thank you Liverpool supporters for everything you gave me in my career, you are just different class. It was a privilege to play in front of you again,” Torres wrote on Instagram afterwards.
"Today I feel in peace with myself, hearing you singing my name is something I will never forget. From the bottom of my hart [sic] thank you very much Liverpool!!! #YNWA"
Torres saw his Atletico youth team register a 2-0 victory over the Reds on Tuesday afternoon.
Goals either side of half-time from Aitor Gismera and Salim El Jebari sealed all three points for the Spanish side.
Fernando Torres looks very different these days
But all the talk on social media was about Torres’s impressive physique. If you didn’t already know, the man’s an absolute unit these days.
Check out this clip of the 37-year-old in Atleti’s dugout at the start of the match:
No, your eyes are not deceiving you - that really is El Niño!
He wasn’t exactly small in stature during his playing days but he wasn’t the powerhouse he is during retirement, either.
Just imagine what he’d do to Nemanja Vidic these days.
Football fans react to Fernando Torres looking hench
Images of Torres looking hench also went viral on social media during the match.
Let’s check out some of the reaction to the beefed-up Torres on Twitter:
Torres has spent a lot of time in the gym since hanging up his boots following a season with Sagan Tosu in Japan.
There was even talk in January 2021 that Torres might have a crack at WWE.
But football is in the World Cup winner’s blood and he’s currently learning his trade as a coach at youth level. It seems he’s doing a pretty decent job, too.
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