Former Atletico Madrid forward Luis Suarez has admitted that the club should have communicated his exit in a rather different way, saying that although he felt comfortable throughout his tenure, he would have loved to play another season with the Rojiblancos.
Speaking in a candid chat with Spanish news outlet MARCA, the former Liverpool and Barcelona striker shed light on several aspects, including his relationship with Ronald Koeman and Lionel Messi among others.
As for time at Atletico Madrid, he pointed out a few instances that he felt should have been dealt with differently.
“Do I think I would’ve been able to stay one more year at Atletico Madrid? Yes, for sure,” said the legendary striker.
“But things happen for a reason. For something it was not renewed, for something it did not materialize. I was proud of my career there, of winning a La Liga after many years, of the fans saying goodbye to me in an emotional way.
“That ‘thank you, Luis, for the La Liga’ poster made me feel very proud,” he added.
Speaking about Atletico not renewing his contract, the striker simply said that he got over it soon and moved on quick especially because everyone at the club treated him very well.
“Did it hurt me that Atleti didn’t extend me? Yes, maybe they could’ve communicated it to me in another way, but then you start analyzing and say, ‘You don’t have to do things so big.’ That’s it. I felt comfortable, happy, I was one more.”
“The club treated me spectacularly. They saw that I was one more, and not that, coming from Barça, I was different,” he explained.
Suarez’s two-year stint with Atletico Madrid was rather successful. To begin with, he scored 32 league goals in 67 appearances and was a key member of the title-winning squad during the 2020-21 season.
Interestingly, Diego Simeone’s philosophy – often termed Cholismo – did not always sit well with the striker. Speaking the about the same, Suarez explained that this approach worked well in the past because the team had players of such profile.
“It is that before he had so many players of that profile that it was perfect,” said the forward.
“Sometimes you forget that before you had a strong defensive mentality with Juanfran, Godín, Miranda, Savic, Gabi. With that team, they attacked two or three times per game, but they got you a goal.”
“Nowadays they attack more, but they don’t score as many goals, and they attack you, on the other hand, more. But, due to the quality of the squad, they [Atletico Madrid] are still a candidate for everything,” he concluded.
Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”
Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.
Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.
Llorente on Madrid derby
“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.
When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”
Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”
“Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.
A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.
Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.
“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.
Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham
The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.
“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.
Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.
“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.
Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”
Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.
“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.