Emotional Suarez thankful to Atletico after Barcelona ‘disrespect’

Diego Simeone’s side secured their 11th Spanish top-flight championship and first since 2014 on Saturday after a 2-1 comeback victory at Real Valladolid held off rivals Real Madrid, who won by the same scoreline against Villarreal.

Angel Correa notched an excellent goal to cancel out former Real midfielder Oscar Plano’s shock early counter-attack effort at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla, with Suarez then racing through to notch what turned out to be a crucial winner 23 minutes from time.

It was a fitting end to a strong campaign for the divisive Uruguayan, who scored 21 goals in 38 appearances in his first season at Atletico.

Afterwards, an emotional Suarez expressed his gratitude to the club for giving him the opportunity after a rather acrimonious departure from Barcelona in September 2020.

“This has been a hard season for the situation I had to go through, starting the season the way it did, being disrespected (by Barcelona) and having Atletico open its doors to me,” Suarez said on Saturday.

“I will always be thankful to this great club for that. I have been in soccer for many years and I think this has been the most difficult year for me.”

He added: “Atletico have had an incredible season despite all the difficulties we’ve had. We’ve been the most consistent team and we are champions.

“Our first half of the season wasn’t normal and neither was the slump we had.”

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