Atletico de Madrid faced Marseille in the Europa League final, and comfortably won 3-0 to lift the title. Antoine Griezmann scored two goals that night, while Gabriel ‘Gabi’ Fernandez finished off the game with a goal in the last-minute of the match. However, Atletico did encounter some trouble in the first 15 minutes of the game. Marseille’s Dimitri Payet was threatening Atletico’s defense by creating dangerous plays and opening up areas for clear cut opportunities. The opportunities Payet created didn’t stand a chance against Atletico’s goalkeeper, Jan Oblak, who stood firm to keep a clean sheet. This win marks the second time that Atletico has won an Europa League final under the management of Diego Simeone.
Aside from this great accomplishment, the highlight of the night went to Fernando Torres. The highly decorated Torres was finally able to accomplish his childhood dream, and win a major trophy with his boyhood club, Atletico de Madrid. After leaving Atletico in 2007 to join English club Liverpool, Torres enjoyed four goal-scoring successful seasons. Thriving off of his good form at Liverpool, he was able to win a European Championship and the World Cup with Spain. It was only until his move to Chelsea in 2011 that his career started to decline. Fernando’s transfer to Chelsea broke the British record for any player sold to an English club at the time.
During his time at Chelsea, Torres went through a dramatic decline in form. A main factor in his poor performances could have been the price tag that was labeled on him. From being a main man in the starting eleven, to being relegated to the bench, Torres had a war going on between himself and the net. A highlight of his career at Chelsea was the winning goal he scored against Barcelona in the 2011/2012 Champions League semi-final which saw Chelsea go on to win the final that year. With his poor run in form continuing year after year, Torres was loaned out to Italian club AC Milan.
Fernando’s bad performances seemed to drag on wherever he went. After only half a season spent at AC Milan Torres was sold to Atletico. Once he arrived, he vowed to win a title with Atletico, a dream he always had. His first opportunity to win a title came in the 2015/2016 Champions League final against Real Madrid, but Atletico would end up losing in penalties. Now his fortunes have changed. With winning the Europa League final, Torres can finally say he has won a major trophy with his boyhood club; a dream come true for an iconic player as Torres, who bows out in his final season with Atletico, having accomplished his goal.