The Uruguayan was allowed to heads through the exits at Camp Nou last summer, but has helped the Rojiblancos to a La Liga crown
Luis Suarez has helped to fire Atletico Madrid to title glory, with the Uruguayan striker delighted to have offered the perfect response to those that “underestimated” him at Barcelona.
The Uruguayan striker was surprisingly allowed to head for the exits at Camp Nou in the summer of 2020, with Ronald Koeman and the Blaugrana deemingly him surplus to requirements.
Doors were thrown open at Wanda Metropolitano, with Suarez hitting 21 goals – including a crucial match-winner on the final day – to land an emotional La Liga crown for the Rojiblancos.
A tearful Suarez told Movistar at the final whistle of a 2-1 win over Real Valladolid that confirmed Atletico’s coronation: “The situation I experienced last summer was difficult, the way I was underestimated.
“Atletico Madrid opened up their doors to me to keep on showing the player I am.”
Suarez the talisman
While his value was questioned in Catalunya, those in Madrid were only too happy to present the 34-year-old with another prominent stage on which to showcase his talent.
That faith has been richly rewarded by a proven marksman that had hit 198 goals across six years at Camp Nou.
All of his efforts this season came in La Liga and contributed towards Atletico collecting 21 points, with no player in the Spanish top-flight proving to be as valuable to any given cause.
The bigger picture
Diego Simeone has returned Atletico to the top of La Liga after a seven-year wait for title glory, with the Argentine continuing to bring the best out of a team punching above its weight in battles with Clasico rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.
They have given everything to the collective cause again this season, with Marcos Llorente admitting that there is nothing left in the tank.
He said: “We’re knackered. It’s been a really tight season with a lot of games. It’s been tough physically, but in the end we’ve got this crucial win and we’ve managed to win the title.
“The togetherness we have has been crucial to achieving this.”
He added on edging out Valladolid, who took a first-half lead before Angel Correa and Suarez hit back: “We felt the nerves a bit today given it was such a key game, but we just wanted to win so as not to have to think about the result of the other game.
“At the break we managed to calm ourselves down and we went out there and turned the match around.
“I’d like to thank the fans. They haven’t been able to be in the stands but we’ve felt their support in a really tough year.”