Barcelona make moving gesture after ex-teammate who beat brain cancer returns to pitch

Barcelona made a heartwarming gesture after a former teammate who overcame brain cancer returned to the pitch during the Spanish Super Cup final

Barcelona made a heartwarming gesture after a former teammate who overcame brain cancer returned to the pitch during the Spanish Super Cup final.

The side thrashed Atlético Madrid 7-0 in yesterday’s match, winning the Super Cup title for the second time.

Caroline Graham Hansen hit a hat-trick, while Lieke Martens scored twice. Fridolina Rolfö and Ingrid Syrstad Engen were also on the scoresheet.

Barcelona then showed their class after the final whistle, celebrating with former teammate and current Atlético star Virginia Torrecilla.

Torrecilla, who played for Barcelona between 2012 and 2015, returned to the pitch for the first time since undergoing successful surgery on a brain tumour in May 2020.

The 27-year-old had last played in March 2020, featuring for Spain in a 1-0 win over England in the SheBelieves Cup.

Her last game for Atlético Madrid was a 3-0 victory over Real Sociedad earlier that month.

Torrecilla was brought on as a substitute in the Spanish Super Cup final in the 85th minute, and was given the captain’s armband for Atlético. She was then given the bumps by the Barcelona players after the final whistle.

“I have many friends at Barça. In the national team we make a lot of friends,” Torrecilla said after the match.

“Football has been with me throughout this process. They have been like a family to me. I must thank everything they have done for me.

“It is an honour and I thank Barça for everything they’ve done for me.”

Torrecilla, who has made more than 60 appearances for Spain, returned to training with Atlético in March 2021 after a course of chemotherapy.

She made her return to the squad as an unused substitute in Atletico’s 3-2 semifinal win over Levante last week.

“I’m very happy to be here with [my teammates] and to share everything,” said Torrecilla. “This is a very important step… A lot of time has passed. It has been about effort, a lot of sacrifice and a lot of training.

“I have to thank the club, they’ve always been with me. This is my reward. Being here in the dressing room and on the pitch, it’s very special.”

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