A phoenix is a mythical bird known for rising from its ashes. According to legend, the phoenix is a bird that cyclically burns to death and is reborn from its own ashes.
Luis Suarez may not have cyclically burned to death and then reborn from his ashes, but the word phoenix serves as a symbol of renewal and rebirth, and that’s exactly the case of Luis Suarez.
The 34-year-old was allowed to leave Camp Nou in the summer of 2020, with his former club unconvinced that he was worth his salary at an advancing age.
The player scored 209 goals in 303 appearances for Barcelona and won trophies like the treble in his maiden season, and other domestic trophies and titles, he also won the Pichichi and the Golden boot at the club.
Why Did Barcelona Let Suarez Go?
How Suarez was let go raised a lot of eyebrows and then selling to a rival club was ridiculous. The player and his ex-teammates voiced their concerns over such a decision, but it all fell on deaf ears. Luis Suarez deserved to have left Barcelona with honour, not chased out like a thief.
But the Uruguayan forward has come back to haunt Barça, scoring 21 goals for bitter rivals Atleti and firing them to their first Spanish title in seven years. He played a major part in the final day drama, scoring what proved to be the title-winning goal in a 2-1 victory over relegated Real Valladolid.
And speaking immediately after Atleti’s title success, Suarez thanked Los Rojiblancos for ‘trusting’ him while hitting out at Barça for not ‘valuing’ him.
“Barca didn’t value me, and Atletico opened their doors for me. I will always be grateful to this club for trusting in me.”
A tearful Luis Suarez has said he was “underestimated” by Barcelona after winning La Liga with Atletico Madrid.
“It’s a lot of things. It was difficult, the situation I had to go through,” a visibly emotional Suarez told Movistar.
“At the start of the season, with the way, I was underestimated…
Atletico Madrid opened the door for me to keep showing that I’m still valid. That’s why I’ll always be grateful to this great club for trusting in me.
“A lot of people have suffered with me. My wife, my kids, they’re with me day-to-day. I’ve been in football for many years, and this is the year they’ve suffered the most.”
Suarez fires Atletico Madrid to victory
Suarez, 34, scored 21 league goals this season for Atletico, firing them to their first title in seven years after being deemed surplus to requirements by Barca last summer.
“We’ve shown again that Atletico had a great year, despite the difficulties we had at some stages of the season,” Suarez said. “We’ve shown we were the best team, the most consistent, and that’s why we’re champions.”
Painful words for Barça supporters to hear (especially while they still have Martin Braithwaite on the books), but an even more painful experience for the striker to endure. It’s no surprise then that he has channeled all his energy into making Catalonia rue the day he was sent packing from the region.
Suarez’s contributions have been as clutch as they come for Atleti this year. Removing his 21 goals from the side would leave Los Colchoneros 21 points worse off. And while they may have found some of those goals in another forward, would they have come at the key moments?
In the dying minutes of a match against Osasuna which was threatening to end in a 1-1 draw and take the title out of his side’s hands? Or in a must-not-lose clash with fellow title challengers Madrid? Or on the final day of the season, potentially ending a seven-year wait for a league title?
How Suarez helped Atletico Madrid win La Liga
Diego Simeone might just have answered the question in his press conference when he bullishly said, “His name, Suarez, that alone is enough … that tells you everything,” argued the coach of Spain’s new champions
Coach Diego Simeone had backed the Uruguay international to make the difference this week, saying they were entering the Suarez zone.
“The Suarez Zone, man… I said it two days ago,” Simeone said on Saturday. “Maybe I was lucky, but it’s Suarez. Suarez. The name speaks for itself.”
Suarez’s arrival has truly been the deciding factor in the title race. Barcelona has missed the Uruguayan forward’s clinical nature in key moments, whereas his deadly eye has dragged Los Rojiblancos over the line on countless occasions this season.
The experienced forward scored vital goals in both of Atleti’s final fixtures to help secure title glory, and the occasion got to him at the final whistle, as he broke down in tears on the turf while celebrating another trophy.
However, he has proven that he’s not finished yet. His winner against Real Valladolid was a throwback to the menacing striker that he once was.
He may have lost pace, but Suarez sprinted so many meters before calmly slotting the ball past the goalkeeper to give Atletico Madrid a priceless lead.
Barcelona, on the other hand, has now gone two successive seasons without winning La Liga. Even more embarrassing was the fact that they went into the final day of the season not among the main contenders.
Suarez is staying a lot longer at Atletico Madrid
The Blaugrana allowed Suarez to join Atletico for free last summer and the decision has come back to bite them, with the Uruguayan going on to enjoy a successful season at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Only Lionel Messi scored more goals than Suarez in the just-concluded season, and it’s obvious that allowing him to join Atletico strengthened their rivals to mount a title charge.
The good news for Atleti fans, Luis Suarez has reiterated that he will remain at Atletico Madrid next season after the forward helped them to their first league title in seven years.
ESPN has reported his deal included a clause that would have allowed him to leave on a free transfer in the summer.
“Yes, I’m sure (I’ll stay),” Suarez told Spanish network Movistar Plus on Sunday during Atletico’s title presentation at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
“Atletico welcomed me from the minute I arrived. I asked the club if there was room for me on the museum wall to make history at Atletico.”
Luis Suarez believes he was underestimated by Barcelona after being allowed to leave the Nou Camp last summer on the back of six prolific seasons.