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Former Spain striker Fernando Torres announces retirement

TOKYO (AP) Former Spain striker Fernando Torres says he is retiring after an 18-year career that included stints at Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea and Italy's AC Milan.

"I have something very important to announce. After 18 exciting years, the time has come to put an end to my football career," the 35-year-old announced on social media on Friday, saying he will hold a press conference in Tokyo on Sunday to explain further details.

Torres began his career with Atletico Madrid in 2001 and scored 75 goals in 174 La Liga appearances.

He was at his most prolific at Liverpool between 2007 and 2011, when he scored 81 goals in 142 games across all competitions.

Torres moved to Chelsea in 2011 and won the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League before a brief stint at Milan in 2015.

Torres returned to Atletico in 2016 and then joined Japan's Sagan Tosu last July.

He struggled to regain his scoring touch in Japan and had only three goals in 28 games over two seasons.

Torres made his Spain debut in 2003 and scored the winning goal in the 2008 European Championship final against Germany before helping his country win their first World Cup in 2010.

He scored 38 goals in 110 appearances for Spain, making him the country's third-highest goal scorer behind David Villa (59) and Raul (44).

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Updated June 21, 2019

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