Fernando Torres scored a brace for Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid Reuters

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone says Fernando Torres proved the doubters wrong after the former Chelsea and Liverpool striker scored a brace in the Copa del Rey 2-2 draw against Real Madrid on Thursday 16 January.

The La Liga champions signed Torres during the January transfer window after he failed to make the impact expected during the first part of the season at AC Milan.

Even though Atletico Madrid fans gave him a special welcome, many pundits in Spain and England have since questioned whether the 30-year-old star can still replicate his best form, which he showcased at Liverpool, following his low spell at Stamford Bridge.

But Torres responded with an impressive performance against Atletico Madrid's main rivals, scoring twice to lead his side to the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey after the club secured a 4-2 win on aggregate.

Simeone, who played alongside Torres at Atletico Madrid during his time as a Vicente Calderon player, said: "When he left the Academy he was too young a lad for everything that happened to him, but he responded really well.

"He left, he developed, now he's a man. I'm pleased for him, in games like today's he responds as he did."

The manager also had a message for the striker's doubters. He said: "The fans are happy, his return has been good for us so far, despite some people having doubts."

The Spaniard scored in the opening minute of the game and repeated the feat in the second half to prevent Real Madrid overcoming the 2-0 scoreline from the first leg.

Speaking after the game, Torres added: "I'm very happy. It was a game in which we had to feel confident because of the result in the first leg."

"The early goal allowed us to play the game we wanted. We never thought the tie was in doubt, we weren't worried. Playing in the Bernabéu is difficult. When they equalised, they thought they had a chance but at 1-2 we could see qualification.

"The smile is for winning and for scoring my first two goals and for doing it in a stadium where I hadn't before. Today I finished well, but thanks to Griezmann. I'm at 200%."