Atletico's Torreira says wants to play for Boca Juniors after mother's death

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FILE PHOTO: Champions League - Group A - Bayern Munich v Atletico Madrid

(Reuters) - Atletico Madrid midfielder Lucas Torreira said he wants to play for his dream club, Argentina's Boca Juniors, to be closer to his family in South America after his mother died due to COVID-19 this week.

Torreira, who is on loan from Arsenal, returned to his home in Uruguay after his mother tested positive for the virus.

The Uruguay international, who moved to Atletico on a season-long loan after Thomas Partey joined Arsenal, has struggled for game time at the Spanish club, having started just three La Liga matches this season.

"It's been two years since I was enjoying myself personally, I haven't had continuity. Arsenal hurt me and at Atletico, I don't play like I want," Torreira told ESPN.

He is under contract at Arsenal until June 2023.

"It's not a crazy decision because of my mother. 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 have made my decision. I will do it for my father."

Atletico are top of La Liga with 66 points after 28 matches, four points above Barcelona.

"I have to go back and focus on Atletico," Torreira added. "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."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)