Atletico Madrid's Virginia Torrecilla returns to action two years after brain tumor surgery

Atletico Madrid midfielder Virginia Torrecilla has returned to the team almost two years after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Torrecilla, 27, came on as a late substitute in Atletico's 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in the Spanish Supercopa final in Las Rozas on Sunday.

It was the first time Torrecilla had played a competitive match since March 2020, when she featured for Spain in a 1-0 win over England in the SheBelieves Cup in Texas.

- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

Her last game for Atletico Madrid was a 3-0 victory over Real Sociedad earlier that same month.

Torrecilla was diagnosed with a brain tumor in May 2020 after suffering from headaches and back pain, and underwent surgery in Pamplona, Spain.

The operation was a success and was followed by a course of chemotherapy treatment before she was able to return to training in March 2021.

On Wednesday, Torrecilla had made her return to the squad for the first time as an unused substitute in Atletico's 3-2 semifinal win over Levante.

"I'm very happy to be here with [my teammates] and to share everything," she said in a video posted by the club on Twitter. "This is a very important step... A lot of time has passed. It has been about effort, a lot of sacrifice and a lot of training.

"I have to thank the club, they've always been with me. This is my reward. Being here in the dressing room and on the pitch, it's very special."

Atletico -- who went into Sunday's final as reigning Supercopa champions -- were outclassed by last year's Treble winners Barcelona, with Caroline Graham Hansen scoring a hat trick and Lieke Martens adding a late brace.

Torrecilla was introduced by coach Oscar Fernandez in the 85th minute, replacing Silvia Meseguer at 6-0 down.

At the final whistle she was surrounded by Barca's players, who picked her up and threw her into the air to celebrate her return to action.