Tragic bereavement gives Arsenal star perspective to chase dream transfer

Lucas Torreira Atletico Madrid on loan from Arsenal

On-loan Atletico Madrid midfielder Lucas Torreira wants to realise his dream of playing for Boca Juniors next season following the recent passing of his mother.

Uruguay international Torreira signed for Arsenal in 2018 under the guidance of Unai Emery. But while he played a regular role for the Spaniard, Mikel Arteta’s arrival in December 2019 changed all that. Indeed, the 25-year-old left for Atletico on deadline day last October looking for a new test.

But despite finding earning game time a challenge, the recent death of his mother has given Torreira perspective on the important things in life.

Atletico gave Torriera time off to visit his mother, Viviana Di Pascua, after she tested positive for coronavirus.

However, her condition worsened and she passed away on Tuesday at the age of 53.

Speaking to ESPN Argentina in an emotional interview, Torreira admitted that he is still coming to terms with his mother’s death.

“I am trying to understand the situation. It is difficult to come to terms with it but as time passes, we will come to live with this pain,” he said.

“My mother was 53 years old and died from Covid. There was an outbreak in Fray Bentos and she spent 11 days fighting but on Monday morning I received the worst news.

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“I asked Atletico for some time off. Cholo [Atletico boss Diego Simeone] understood everything and they gave me a week, but I asked to stay for a little longer.

“On Sunday I will probably return. I have to do my duty and life must continue. Atletico have been very good to me and it’s important.”

Torreira is expected to return to Arsenal in the summer following his spell in Spain.

However, he is hopeful that he can instead chase his dream of playing for one of South America’s most iconic clubs.

Torreira vying for Boca switch

Lucas Torreira Cadiz v Atletico Madrid January 2021

“It’s not a crazy decision because of my mother,” he said. “I have always said that I want to play for Boca. I’m dying to play for Boca and I will always say it.

“The night my mother died, one of the first to hear the news was my agent. I don’t want to play in Europe anymore, I want to play for Boca. ‘I want to be close to my family.

“My father, crying, told me that it was time to play for Boca. I always liked Boca, I’m yet to experience La Bombonera, it’s something that I have deep inside me and I have to indulge myself.

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“Hopefully things become clear soon, I have to go back and focus on Atletico. I’m more than proud, I’m calm, my team-mates have supported me. ‘I have to be there, no matter how much it hurts, as there’s a month and a half of competition left.

“Hopefully I can end up winning La Liga.”

Reports have also linked Torreira’s fellow Uruguayan, Edinson Cavani, with a switch to Boca. The Manchester United striker’s contract runs out at the end of the season, but it remains unclear if he will sign a one-year extension.

Torreira said that he “talks a lot” with the 34-year-old and that sharing the Boca pitch with him would be “something very nice”.

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