Madrid, May 23 (EFE).- Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez showed Barcelona what they were missing as he steered Atletico Madrid to win the Spanish league, scoring 21 goals along the way, including the winning shots in the last two games.
Suarez has paid back the Rojiblancos for the confidence they placed in him after Barcelona showed him the exit.
“I am filled with emotions. It is difficult the situation one has to go through, to begin the season in the way they undervalued me,” the 34-year-old told the broadcaster Movistar LaLiga after claiming his fifth league title.
“Atletico opened the doors for me to showing the player that I am. I will always be grateful to this great club for trusting me,” he added following their 2-1 win at Valladolid.
At the start of the season, it took a debutant Suarez only 20 minutes to bag a brace and an assist in Atletico’s 6-1 routing of Granada, raising fans’ expectations sky-high. He has since proved decisive.
He admitted that his great performance was driven by the criticism he suffered at the end of his Barcelona spell.
“It bothered me that they told me that I was old and that I could no longer play at the highest level, be at the height of a great team,” he told France Football in February.
“That upset me (…) With my pride, I told myself that I wanted to show that I am still worth,” added Suarez who scored 16 league goals by then.
Despite being less sharp inside the area over the final stretch, he scored when it mattered most, against cross-city rivals Real Madrid in their 1-1 draw and leading them to crucial victories over Athletic Bilbao, Alaves, Osasuna and Valladolid.
“Last year I received criticism and they said that I was not capable of competing for important things or that at Barcelona I could not compete at a high level,” he said earlier this week.