Luis Suarez has affirmed that he’ll remain at Atletico Madrid next season after his goals fired them to their first La Liga title in seven years.
Suarez scored the winner – his 21st league goal of the campaign – in Atletico’s 2-1 rebound triumph at Real Valladolid on Saturday, an outcome that secured the title in front of local adversaries Real Madrid.
The 34-year-old concurred a two-year contract at Atletico when he joined from Barcelona last September, however sources disclosed to ESPN a statement had been remembered for the deal which would have permitted him to leave on a free transfer this summer.
“Yes, yes, for sure,” Suarez told Movistar on Sunday evening, when asked if he would continue at the club in 2021-22.
Suarez was talking at Atletico’s title celebrations – held behind closed doors and went to by local government authorities – at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium. There was no open-top bus parade to the Neptuno fountain in the centre of Madrid, where Atletico traditionally celebrate their trophy successes, due to the Covid pandemic.
A day sooner, TV cameras had shown Suarez in tears on the Valladolid pitch during a post-match videocall with his wife and children, prior to saying that he had been “underestimated” by previous club Barcelona.
“My wife is the one who had to go through the situation I experienced last summer with me, taking the decision to leave,” he explained on Sunday. “A change is difficult for a family, with kids who had their lives all set up… She knows how hard I worked to turn the situation around and show that I could still play at a good level.”
Atletico’s title win makes Suarez a five-time La Liga champion – with the four past trophies coming with Barcelona in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019 – in only seven seasons in Spain. The Uruguay international was constrained out of Camp Nou the previous summer in the wake of being informed by incoming coach Ronald Koeman that he was at this point don’t part of the club’s plans.
Atletico coach Diego Simeone added that he believed constantly his side would win the La Liga title, even amidst a faltering run of results in April. Simeone said he believed like never before that his side planned to do it after a 1-1 draw at Real Betis during that stretch.
“Everything clicked after the game with Betis. We had players out with coronavirus and injuries and it was very tough, but after that day I could sense we were close,” he said.
“With four games to go I knew it wasn’t going to slip away from us, even though others were still struggling to believe.”