In the summer, when Luis Suarez was placed on the market, many were sceptical of his worth. Who would sign an increasingly injury-prone forward who was in his mid-30s, and who had a long history of short-fuse explosions and long-term bans? It turns out that one club who was intrigued was Atletico Madrid. And, sitting well clear at the top of the La Liga table as we approach March, it looks like the steal of the 2020-21 season. How long, though, can we expect to see a mid-30s Suarez continue to dominate the Spanish top flight?
If the Uruguayan himself is to be believed, then he will still be at the top of the game for a few more years yet. Indeed, playing for a top club once again and under a coach who believes in his playstyle has reinvigorated the striker. He now looks more akin to the star who played with such aggression and poise for Ajax, Liverpool, and then Barcelona. Over the injuries that plagued his late Barcelona career, it now looks like the Catalans were the problem as opposed to the striker.
What did Luis Suarez say about his future?
In a recent interview with ESPN, Suarez was bullish about his ability to stick around the top of the game for a while longer yet. After his exit from Barcelona, many expected a quick exit back to the South America game, or a long-expected return to Ajax. However, Suarez felt slighted by Barcelona and made the move to a league rival after being heavily endorsed by Diego Simeone.
Speaking about his long-term future in the interview, though, Suarez said that he planned on sticking around for the long-term. On his future, he said: “I still feel like I’m enjoying this moment that I’m in today, in football’s elite. Being at Atletico, you’re in football’s elite. Some people didn’t believe that I could still be at this level. I’ve got the same enthusiasm.
“I hope that this year, next year and for however many years it is, I keep competing and giving my best until you realise that you’ve gone as far as you can. But no one will get rid of me. I’ll decide when I go.”
So, don’t expect to see Suarez leaving the top level of football anytime soon. Despite his age and his injuries, the Uruguayan has shown all of the aggression mixed with a style that has made him such an iconic player of the last decade. Remember, too, that he also had suitors in the form of Juventus who see him as the perfect foil for Cristiano Ronaldo.
An issue with Italian passport interview meant that a move to Italy could not take place, and instead, Suarez arrived in Madrid to sign with a domestic rival. Now, he stands near the top of the La Liga scoreboard, has won his team more points than anyone else, and looks set to add to a stellar trophy collection.
Given the way he was slighted, this might feel like the best win yet.