Fernando Torres pays classy tribute to retiring ex-Liverpool team-mate Xabi Alonso

Fernando Torres has taken to Instagram to pay tribute to his former Liverpool and Spain team-mate Xabi Alonso, who today announced his decision to retire at the end of the season.

The Atletico Madrid striker, who played alongside Alonso for club and country, sent a moving message to a former colleague who clearly meant a lot to him.

Tributes have been pouring out from all quarters today for a fine player and consummate professional, and Torres is the latest to express his appreciation of the veteran midfielder.

Contigo aprendí a amar este deporte. Gracias por tantos buenos momentos / I learnt with you to love football. Thanks for such a lot of good moments @xabialonso #Legend #Leyenda #YNWA

A post shared by Fernando Torres (@fernandotorres) on

The Spaniard uploaded two pictures of him and Alonso with both Liverpool and Spain, with the caption: ‘I learnt with you to love football. Thanks for such a lot of good moments.’

Although Torres did not pick up any silverware with Alonso at Anfield, the pair formed key parts of the Spanish national teams who won three international tournaments in a row.

Torres struck the winner in the Euro 2008 final, and the pair continued to be victorious by following that up with a World Cup win in 2010 and retaining the European Championships by beating Italy in the 2012 final, during which Torres again found the net.

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