It’s genuinely heartwarming to see Fernando Torres playing well again, with one of Europe’s top clubs, following years of frustration at Chelsea and then AC Milan.
The Spanish striker, who was widely regarded as one of the world’s best strikers during his four years with Liverpool, suffered a catastrophic loss of form and confidence following his £50 million move to Stamford Bridge in January 2011.
Torres scored 20 goals in 110 Premier League appearances for Chelsea before being loaned to Milan, where he scored a pitiful one goal in 10 matches.
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But just when it was beginning to appear beyond doubt that Torres was finished at the highest level, in swooped Diego Simeone to offer his former teammate a lifeline.
The revered Atletico Madrid coach struck a deal to sign the World Cup winner on a loan deal until the end of the 2015-16 campaign.
Simeone has helped Torres rediscover his confidence
While it would be a slight exaggeration to suggest Torres has reached the same heights he scaled at Liverpool over the past season-and-a-half, he’s been more impressive than perhaps even Simeone could have predicted.
For the first time in his career, towards the end of last season, the much-maligned centre-forward scored in five consecutive matches.
Despite his eye-catching performances for Atleti, Torres was left out of Spain’s Euro 2016 squad by Vicente del Bosque.
But he wasn’t concerned: he had the Champions League final to think about.
Unfortunately, Torres and his teammates lost out to Real Madrid in the final at the San Siro - but the Spaniard has had the whole summer to get that defeat out of his system.
Video: Torres' mazy dribble v Spurs
Earlier today he was in action against Tottenham and rolled back the years with one superb dribble.
Scroll to 3 mins 28 secs...
Torres brilliantly span away from Dominic Ball and Marcus Edwards before nutmegging the Spurs captain Ryan Mason, who reacted with a cynical challenge.
Atletico beat Spurs 1-0
Atletico won the match 1-0 thanks to a first-half goal from Diego Godin.
Simeone’s men take on Melbourne Victory this weekend and then Cadiz next month before their La Liga opener against promoted Alaves on August 21.
Is Fernando Torres still one of the world’s best strikers? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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