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€60m rated Koke praises Chelsea striker Fernando Torres

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres has been praised as a reference guide for Atletico youngsters.

Fernando Torres is a player used to dealing with stick at Chelsea, but there is one club where he is revered as a hero.

Not former side Liverpool, but the team where he made his name in Spain: Atletico Madrid.

Torres returns to the Vicente Calderon tonight for the first time when he takes on Atletico with Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final first leg, and he may just have a starring role to play.

The fact he is not seen as the world class striker he once was matters little to Atletico fans and staff who hold him in high esteem, and one is highly valued midfielder Koke.

Koke netted the winning goal against Barcelona in the quarter-final, with the midfielder having a €60 million release clause placed in the new contract he signed earlier this season.

He told a press conference ahead of tonight's match that Torres is the player all Atletico youngsters aspire to when trying to rise through the academy ranks at the club.

"Torres is always a reference to homegrown Atletico", Koke stated as reported by Sport.

"Tomorrow will be the first step on Calderón for Torres with another team and I guess people will give much love. Wishing him good luck, but that he does not have his best game."

Samuel Eto'o's injury limits Chelsea's striker options, and while it has been Demba Ba scoring the significant goals in recent weeks, don't be surprised if manager Jose Mourinho plays the occasion and opts for a fired up Torres impressing his former club - and even earning himself a summer return there in the process.

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