As European football was left reeling after Barcelona showed Luis Suarez the exit door last summer, one man stayed composed and prepared to pounce: Diego Simeone.
Atletico Madrid‘s 2020/21 campaign had had its moments, particularly in the Champions League comeback at Anfield, but for Atletico to become real challengers again, their Argentine coach knew that they desperately needed a top striker.
After Juventus pulled out of the race and Barcelona received six million euros from Los Colchoneros, Simeone had his man, with Alvaro Morata making way by moving to Juventus.
From the moment Suarez arrived, his determination to show Barcelona the enormity of the mistake they had made was clear, with 19 goals before the decisive matches against Osasuna and Real Valladolid.
The predatory Uruguayan striker scored the winner in each as the LaLiga Santander title returned to Atletico Madrid’s hands.
Whether Luis Suarez chooses to leave the Wanda Metropolitana this summer or continue until the expiration of his contract next June remains to be seen.
Whatever happens, it has been an unforgettable season for the striker cast out by Barcelona, his team and Diego Simeone, the man who knew that Suarez could take Atletico Madrid back to the summit of LaLiga Santander once more.