Diego Simeone confirms Fernando Torres will start against Real Madrid
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has confirmed that Fernando Torres will start up front when his side face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 tie on Wednesday.
Madrid: Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has confirmed that Fernando Torres will start up front when his side face Real Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 tie on Wednesday.
Torres rejoined Atletico last week from AC Milan seven years after leaving his boyhood club, but had to watch Saturday`s 3-1 win over Levante from the stands as the Italian transfer window didn`t open until Monday.
"Torres had been training with Milan. He played 10 games there, he has trained with us for a few days and he will start tomorrow," Simeone told a press conference on Tuesday.
"If I didn`t think he was strong or had the ability to break down opposition defences I wouldn`t be counting on him.
"He has different characteristics to what we have in the group and he will strengthen our attack."
Torres admitted as he was presented in front of 45,000 Atletico fans on Sunday that the prospect of coming home was the challenge he needed to reignite a dwindling career.
The 30-year-old failed to live up to expectations following a then British transfer record £50 million (64 million euros, $76 million) move from Liverpool to Chelsea in 2011.
Torres managed 45 goals in 172 games for the London club before an ill-fated loan move to Milan where he managed to find the net just once in 10 appearances.
His inclusion in Simeone`s starting line-up could come at the expense of Atletico`s top goalscorer this season Mario Mandzukic.
The Croatian missed training on Monday and is a doubt for the game, as are Arda Turan, Guilherme Siqueira and Tiago.
Simeone also confirmed that Slovenian Jan Oblak will replace Miguel Angel Moya in goal.