Xabi Alonso has risked angering the Liverpool fans who used to idolise him by claiming that Fernando Torres 'deserves' to play in Spain.
Alonso left Merseyside for Real Madrid in a £30million move this summer after telling Rafa Benitez that he wanted to join the Bernabeu revolution.
And now he hopes that former Atletico Madrid star Torres joins him in by returning across the Bay of Biscay.
'La Liga deserves players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Lionel Messi,' Alonso told Sport magazine. 'Now we are only missing my good friend Fernando Torres.
'I hope to see him back in Spain one day, but I don't think he will come to Real Madrid. I think he has too big a heart for Atletico for that, sadly.'
Alonso insists he has no regrets about leaving Liverpool and says he has a clear conscience over the move, particularly after Rafa Benitez's botched attempt to offload him to Juventus a year before.
Never far behind: Xabi Alonso in his Liverpool days with Fernando Torres (right)
'It was a reason (the Juve episode), but not the only one,' said Alonso. 'I needed to start afresh.
'When I heard about the new Real Madrid project, I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
'Looking at the names in the squad, it makes you think that this is some kind of computer game. It is almost not realistic that you can have so many star players on the same team.
'I'm very happy yo be back (in Spain) and enjoying every minute of it.I had five great years in Liverpool, but it is only healthy for everyfootballer to change environment after a period of time at the sameclub, so I'm very pleased I came here.
Hands off: Rafa Benitez (right) would not want to lose Torres
'Maybe some of the fans or people at the club don't agree or don't understand my motivations for leaving.
'But I think that I can look at myself in the mirror and know that I did everything possible for Liverpool, and I was committed throughout.
'I left Liverpool in a far better condition than when I came in 2004.'
Alonso insists that his relationship with Benitez was not as frosty as has been claimed and speaks glowingly of his compatriot.
'Rafa is a fantastic manager and also a fantastic person who understands management and how to motivate players,' he said. 'We still have a warm relationship and I think he respects my decision to try new challenges.
'We have a mutual respect for each other and we still have the same relationship as always.
'We had a good long talk before I left and I think we told each other what we needed to say before parting ways. I have always admitted Rafa and always will do.'
The former Real Sociedad player believes his time in England made him a better player, but he won't miss the food.
'I actually liked the British culture,' he said. 'I don't appreciate the cooking very much, but a lot of other aspects are great.
'The British are very kind people and they respect you for what you've achieved.
'I also like their humour and the whole culture surrounding football: so many fans go to away games, which is something you don't see very often in Spanish football.
'And the Liverpool fans are amazing. When you enter Anfield and they sing You'll Never Walk Alone, you get something that you will take with you for the rest of your life.'
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