Suarez has been on fire for Atletico Madrid since being brutally ditched by Barcelona… after settling in quickly and finding chemistry with Diego Costa, he’s ready to exact revenge on Bayern Munich tonight – AND show his old side what they lost
- Luis Suarez has scored six in six for club and country and looks razor sharp
- At 33, Barcelona decided he was no longer needed but Atletico wanted him
- Combination with Diego Simeone is a match made in heaven for Uruguayan
- He returns to scene of 8-2 humiliation by Bayern Munich with his new side
Six goals in six games for club and country have put a smile back on Luis Suarez’s face after he was forced out of Barcelona at the end of last season.
It will further broaden on Wednesday night if he can take some small revenge on Bayern Munich for turning his last game for Barca into an 8-2 nightmare two months ago.
Nothing will make up for that Champions League exit. Suarez’s last goal for Barcelona was against arguably still the best keeper in the world. He finished up being the only opposing player to beat Manuel Neuer in the quarters, semis and final of the Champions League.
Luis Suarez looks happy again and is in razor sharp form for Atletico Madrid this season
Barcelona ditched Suarez after the 8-2 defeat in the Champions League by Bayern Munich
But his low shot past him on 57 minutes of that jaw-dropping quarter-final in Lisbon in August counted for nothing. The manner of the Barcelona defeat only hastened the need within the club to make a bold statement of renewal, ushering out senior players and so bringing down a wage bill that was completely unsustainable.
In six years Suarez had won 13 trophies, and become Barcelona’s third-highest all-time scorer with 198 goals in 283 games. He deserved more than a telephone call from Ronald Koeman argued many, although the Barcelona Dutch coach has since explained that he was away and a face-to-face meeting was impossible.
Suarez did not blame Koeman, believing the board had manufactured his departure – and not just out of financial need, but also because of his closeness to Lionel Messi.
Suarez has scored three goals and delivered one assist so far for Atletico since signing
Suarez and Diego Costa (right) have formed a strong partnership up front for Atletico
Lionel Messi – 357
Cristiano Ronaldo – 340
Robert Lewandowski – 243
Luis Suarez – 219
Edinson Cavani – 216
Sergio Aguero – 200
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – 192
Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 186
Gonzalo Higuain – 178
Karim Benzema – 162
Source: Diario AS
The horizon looked grim for Suarez at first. He likes the idea of playing in the US one day but not yet. He could hardly join Real Madrid, a return to England was never likely, and having never bothered to get a Spanish passport while playing in La Liga he was a non-EU citizen, and therefore unable to make a quick move to Juventus.
What happened next was a semi-miraculous falling into place of all the pieces: new Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo decided he wanted to sign Atletico Madrid forward Alvaro Morata having had him as a team-mate in 2015. Suddenly the ocean parted and Suarez had a clear path into the arms of Diego Simeone.
The Argentinian coach had always wanted to work with the Uruguayan. Age difference aside (Morata is 27, Suarez 33,) he would take the prolific rambunctious, Suarez over the gentler of nature and not as goal-hungry Morata any day of the season.
He was certainly happy with the switch and Suarez jumped for joy at not having to move his young family to another country.
He consulted Uruguayan team-mate Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann, both former Atletico players over what it was like to play for the club but there was never much doubt in his mind that it was the perfect solution.
Suarez has been welcomed by his new team-mates with open arms and walked into the side
When Suarez scored last weekend in the 2-0 win over Celta Vigo and Griezmann missed a great opportunity in the first half of Barcelona’s 1-0 defeat to Getafe it was not lost on Atletico fans who have not really forgiven the latter for leaving and welcomed the former with open arms.
Suarez has been accepted in the Atletico dressing room too where he has fellow Uruguayans Lucas Torreira and Jose Gimenez for company. There has even been chemistry with Diego Costa who may end up competing for his place but was played alongside him on Saturday when they combined for the opening goal.
Suarez is under no illusions that his career is winding down but he always felt he had another year in him at Barcelona and Wednesday night will not just be about vengeance against Bayern it will be a chance to remind his former club what he can still do.
The Uruguayan understands he does not have many years left at the top but is still going well
Suarez can show Barcelona what they’re missing and exact small revenge over Bayern
There are only three players who have scored more goals in their domestic leagues over the last decade than Suarez.
One is his former team-mate Messi, another is the man who might have become his team-mate if he had moved to Juventus, Cristiano Ronaldo and the other is the centre-forward he faces tonight Robert Lewandowski.
Like those three he is no longer in the springtime of his career but with three goals in 126 minutes so far for Atletico, one every 57 minutes which is a better start than the likes of Radamel Falcao, Sergio Aguero and Griezmann, he is proving that it isn’t winter just yet.
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