Luis Suarez has been reflecting on the 2020/21 season, with the Uruguayan having won the LaLiga Santander title at Atletico Madrid after being forced out of Barcelona.
The 34-year-old didn’t want to leave the Camp Nou at the beginning of the campaign, but the Blaugrana were clear that they wanted him gone. He went on to join Diego Simeone‘s Rojiblancos, where the No.9 went on to win yet another title.
“My tears were tears of happiness,” Suarez said to El Partidazo about his emotions on the final day of the season. “I’m not going to go against Barcelona.
“It was because of the situation, I’ll always be grateful to them because they’ve given me everything and allowed me to play at the elite level.
“But the president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] said everything he spoke to the press instead of calling me. When they wanted Leo [Messi] to stay, they called me to convince him. They called me to talk to [Antoine] Griezmann… so why couldn’t they have called me when they wanted me to leave?
“Then the coach [Ronald Koeman] came to tell me that he doesn’t have me in his plans because he wants another kind of No.9. But Koeman said ‘they told me to tell you’. After leaving me out for three games he then said ‘if things aren’t resolved, I’m going to count on you against Villarreal’. That’s when I realised that he didn’t have a lot of character. He wasn’t a coach, it all came from above.”
Less than a year on, Suarez has again been crowned champion of Spain, but he says that winning the LaLiga Santander title with Atletico is more complicated than at Barcelona.
“It’s tougher, it takes more,” Suarez said. “I realised the enthusiasm of the players here; I really enjoy seeing my teammates, because the happiness of being champions is something that makes it more special.”
After scoring the winning goal on the final day of the season and, as a result, clinching the title for Atletico, Suarez was seen in floods of tears on the pitch as he videocalled with his family.
“My wife was crying with me because we’ve suffered a lot with having to move our children,” Suarez said. “Money doesn’t give you happiness, and she knows about the time I spent suffering.
“When I had to train alone at the start of the season, I had a lot of problems with my knee. I had to work hard all year and do extra things because of my knee.
“I lost out on time with my son to take care of my knee, and my wife supported me through all of the tough times. In the end, seeing my children happy is something that I’ll never forget.”
It hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the Uruguayan, even since joining Atletico Madrid. He has been seen to lose his cool and show his frustration on occasion, particularly when substituted.
“The first time Cholo replaced me I was angry, but I was angry with myself,” Suarez said. “Against Chelsea, I did get angry with Cholo because we needed to score and he took me off.
“But against Osasuna I scored and we were one game away from being champions. But even then I came off angry because we suffered and it was my fault. I missed three goals. I’m very self-critical. We don’t have any problems.”
Looking at Lionel Messi‘s situation at Barcelona, with the Argentine’s future still undecided, the Atleti forward wants the best for his friend.
“I’d be happy for him to stay, as a friend and as a fan,” Suarez said. “I’d love it, and I’d recommend that he continues at Barcelona.”