Luis Suárez has spoken of how pleased he is to be at Atlético Madrid and play for fellow South American Diego Simeone, and that he’s willing to defend his new shirt “to the death”.
Suárez – nicknamed El Pistolero, or The Gunman, joined Atleti this past close-season after spending six trophy-laden years with Barcelona.
The Uruguayan was deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou by new boss Ronald Koeman, despite his impressive numbers last season. At 33, it’s inevitable that Suárez isn’t the player he was when he joined Barça, but he still managed 21 goals and 12 assists in 36 competitive appearances.
Since joining Atleti, Suárez has scored four goals and contributed one assist in eight competitive appearances. Fired with enthusiasm to prove he’s not past his sell-by date, and linking well with the adversarial spirit intrinsic to El Cholo Simeone’s Atleti, the idea is that 2020/21 could prove to be his Indian summer.
Speaking to AS, the Uruguayan outlined how content he is with life in Madrid. “How competitive my teammates are on a day-to-day basis is a positive – each one supporting the one to the death,” he said. “You feel that and it’s important for the group. If the team convinces itself [that it can compete], we can achieve important things.”
Suárez revealed that he wouldn’t celebrate if he scores against Barça for Atleti. “I wouldn’t celebrate out of respect for my teammates and a club that has given me a lot, but I’m going to defend the Atlético shirt to the death as I have defended all the shirts of all the teams in which I have played.”
He also explained that he didn’t need much convincing once Simeone made it clear he was wanted at Atleti. “When you feel loved and the coach shows interest, there isn’t much convincing needed. They value you like you weren’t being valued elsewhere, and that’s important.
“Then, arriving and being treated the way I have been makes me feel much more eager and confident to live this beautiful challenge.”
Featured image courtesy of AS.