Fernando Torres is a lifelong Atletico Madrid fan, and it is no surprise that the Spanish club are involved in the first big game he has either played in or attended.
The 30-year-old grew up as an Atletico supporter and went on to play for the first team for a number of years.
The Spain international also attended the capital club’s matches as a kid and has now relived his first big game as a spectator.
‘I was 11 years old’, Torres told Chelsea’s official website. ‘I saw Atletico win the league the last time they won it in 1996. I was in the stands and I didn't even have a seat. I was sitting on the stairs...
‘It was the last game of the season and they needed to win to be champions. They beat Albacete 2-0. Kiko, who was my hero, scored the first one and Diego Simeone scored the second one.
'They were champions and one week after that they won the Cup, but I was not there. I will never forget this day’.
Atletico failed to maintain the same level of success they achieved in 1996 and suffered relegation from La Liga at the end of the 1999-2000 campaign. They eventually returned to the Spanish top flight in 2002, but it was only last season that Atletico reclaimed the league title.
Diego Simeone was once again at the heart of Atletico’s domination of La Liga, this time playing the role of a coach.
The Argentine is regarded by many as the coach who has had the biggest influence on any club in the modern era because of the way he has led Los Colchoneros to trophy success in the last three or so years and for changing their mentality.
Torres, who left Atletico for Liverpool in the summer of 2007, has often been linked with a move back to his former club, having been largely unsuccessful at Chelsea following his £50 million switch to Stamford Bridge in 2011.
However, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has made it clear that the Spaniard will not leave this summer. But perhaps one day the prodigal son will return to Atletico.