One day after he emotionally bid farewell to his beloved Barcelona, Luis Suarez has completed a mind-numbing move to Atletico Madrid. The Uruguayan striker will join “Los Rojiblancos” on a two-year contract after Atleti received him on a free transfer that could rise to around six million euros based off performance variables. The 33-year-old has already taken his medical examination and has even trained a bit with his new club.
Suarez leaves Barcelona as perhaps the club’s greatest striker ever. He only served six seasons at the club, but he finished that span with an incredible 198 goals over 283 appearances in all competitions. That number places him third on Barca’s all-time goal scorers list, behind only Leo Messi (634) and Cesar Rodriguez (232). For a guy who was previously the center of attention at both Ajax and Liverpool, Suarez seamlessly slotted himself as the Robin to Messi’s Batman, and became one of the Argentine’s most prolific sidekicks.
That link up equated to two things for Barcelona: amazing highlight reels, and trophies. Even when the club was starting their downward fall later in the decade, Suarez helped add 13 trophies, including: four La Ligas, four Copa del Reys, two Supercopas, a Champions League, a Super Cup, and a Club World Cup.
From a personal perspective, Suarez continued to prove himself as one of Europe’s preeminent strikers, with only Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski rivaling his production. He won a few personal awards, like the La Liga World Player of the Year in 2016, and he also found himself in the top 10 in Ballon d’Or voting in 2016. But perhaps because of his close proximity, it could be argued that he missed out on more personal glory.
Looking forward, Suarez now finds himself late in his prime, if not the beginning of the end of his career, and he has the opportunity to become the poster boy once again. It’ll no doubt be fascinating to see how the Uruguayan fairs at his new club, and how is efforts could turn the tide in the Spanish top flight.
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Featured Image – AP Photo/Manu Fernandez/Pool