Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres has said he is taking nothing for granted as the club head into two crucial matches that will determine their future in La Liga and Champions League.
Atletico Madrid scored a narrow 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semifinal at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday and now face a similarly tight game for next Tuesday's second leg at Allianz Arena in Munich.
On Saturday, the club face Rayo Vallecano in a deadlocked La Liga. Diego Simeone's men are in second place in the league table with 82 points behind Barcelona only on goal difference. Real Madrid, meanwhile, are close behind in third place with 81 points after a weekend of play that saw all three clubs win and maintain their positions. Three rounds remain as Barcelona look to defend their crown.
Torres, who returned to Atletico on loan from AC Milan in January 2015 but struggled earlier this season, said that both title races are equally important and stressed that his team held the future in their own hands.
"Our success or failure is not dependent upon anyone else but ourselves," the 32-year-old told Radio Marca on Thursday. "The only thing we can do is win everything that is left to play. That is all we can control. If Barcelona misses a point, that doesn't depend on us."
It's been a good result but we have to keep on fighting. Thanks to our fans for your support #ForzaAtleti pic.twitter.com/zYgzX6uiKU
- Fernando Torres (@Torres) April 27, 2016
Former Atletico youth-teamer Torres has won the Champions League, FA Cup and Europa League with Chelsea, and the Euro 2008, World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 titles with Spain.
However his only medal during either of his periods with boyhood club Atletico has been the 2001-02 Segunda Division when as a teenager he captained the team through one of the darkest periods in its history.
Before Torres rejoined the club in January 2015 and since Simeone took charge over Christmas in 2011, Atletico have won trophies in La Liga, Europa League and Copa del Rey .
But they fell short in heartbreaking circumstances when losing the Champions League final to neighbours Real Madrid in 2014. That experience was similar to Atletico's only other European Cup final -- in 1974 when they were 1-0 ahead in extra time but Bayern Munich's Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck equalised in the final seconds, and the German side won the replay 4-0.
Torres said that for him, the Champions League win means everything.
"[Bayern Munich] continue to be the favorites, but we are prepared to compete against anyone," the Spain international said. "The only title I have left to experience here is winning the Champions League. Nothing would compare to that. Do I feel that we are close? No. I feel that it is far away yet, as is the league title."