TOSU, Japan (AP) – Former Spain striker Fernando Torres (pic below) has signed to play for Sagan Tosu in the J1 League yesterday, dashing the hopes of Australian football that he might become a marquee attraction for its struggling A-League.
The 34-year-old Torres held discussions with Football Federation Australia (FFA) and officials of A-League glamour club Sydney FC, raising hopes he might add some star power to the A-League which has seen flagging attendances and TV ratings.
But the former Liverpool, Chelsea, and Atletico Madrid forward announced he will be joining former Spain teammate Andres Iniesta in Japan.
Torres was one of six players on a shortlist of possible marquee stars drawn up by the FFA two months ago, which also included Iniesta and Japan’s Keisuke Honda.
The A-League has a centralised AUD3 million fund to attract marquee players but hasn’t had a truly big name since Italy’s Alessandro Del Piero played for Sydney FC.