CHENNAI: Luis Suarez started a fresh chapter in his life with Atletico Madrid on Sunday and moved on from Barcelona. The Uruguayan striker, who didn’t fit into new coach Ronald Koeman‘s plans, had an acrimonious exit last week at the Catalan club where he spent six years from 2014-2020. But when he made his La Liga debut for Atletico, he celebrated it with two goals and an assist, showing that he hasn’t lost his touch.
“It was very tough for me and was unexpected. I wasn’t prepared for anything like it. But what we must appreciate is that I spent six glorious years at Barca. There will always be people who agree and disagree with my achievements but that’s something that I have already digested. I always knew that this stage will soon be over but I am proud for everything I did. I feel that I am not leaving the club as a player, but a human being with feelings,” Suarez said in quotes shared by La Liga exclusively with TOI.
Suarez, who was sidelined with a knee injury for four months last season, is now focused on proving a point by performing well for Atletico. “I am very eager to keep performing especially after the last season in which I struggled with injury. I have new goals and I have to change the chip now. I want to show that I could keep on competing whether it is at Barcelona or at Atletico,” the 33-year-old said.
Over the six seasons that Suarez spent at Barcelona, he has achieved 13 titles and scored 198 goals. He is also the third highest scorer in the history of the club. Suarez said Barcelona’s trust in him after he bit Giorgio Chiellini back in 2014 World Cup propelled him to achieve success for the club.
“Barcelona trusted me in 2014 despite knowing the condition I was coming in and the mistake I had made. It was not easy but the then coach and my teammates made me feel welcome. It gave me confidence that I belonged to the club. It inspired me to always give my best. At Barcelona, you have to perform at your best and you never know how long will you last here for. Achieving the kind of numbers was something I never imagined. It’s something you don’t plan,” he said.
Hope Messi continues to enjoy football
Playing at Barcelona gave Luis Suarez the chance of sharing the dressing room with Lionel Messi. Messi was at the centre of a storm recently at Barca after he was not allowed to leave the club. Suarez hopes Messi continues to enjoy the game. “Messi was my friend and family ever since I joined Barca. I played alongside the best player in the history of football and it will always be in my mind forever. Everyone knows the player Messi but hardly anyone knows that there is an emotional side to him. I hope that he continues to enjoy himself playing football and show that no one can ever tarnish his stature at the club and in the world of football,” Suarez said.

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