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Fernando Torres signs to play in J1 League

July 10, 2018

FILE - In this May 16, 2018 file photo, Atletico's Fernando Torres celebrates, surrounded by fans, the 3-0 win of his team after the Europa League Final soccer match between Marseille and Atletico Madrid at the Stade de Lyon in Decines, outside Lyon, France. Former Spain striker Fernando Torres announced on Tuesday July 10, 2018 that he will play for Sagan Tosu in the J1 League, dashing the hopes of Australian football that he might become a marquee attraction for its struggling A-League. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

TOSU, Japan (AP) — Former Spain striker Fernando Torres signed to play for Sagan Tosu in the J1 League on Tuesday, 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 and officials of A-League glamor 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 centralized $3 million fund to attract marquee players but hasn’t had a truly big name since Italy’s Alessandro Del Piero played for Sydney FC from 2012-14.

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