Tuesday, 5 July, 2022

Suarez bids Atletico farewell as Sevilla qualify for Champions League

Suarez bids Atletico farewell as Sevilla qualify for Champions League
Atletico Madrid’s forward Luis Suarez acknowledges the crowd as he walks around the pitch with his children during his farewell as Atletico player at the end of their Spanish League match against Sevilla at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Sunday. – AFP PHOTO

Luis Suarez said he will always have Atletico Madrid in his heart after the striker waved goodbye to the club's home fans following a 1-1 draw against Sevilla on Sunday.

The result meant Sevilla finally confirmed their place in La Liga's top four as a late equaliser by Youssef En-Nesyri at the Wanda Metropoliano secured qualification for the Champions League.

The 35-year-old is set to leave Atletico when his two-year contract expires this summer.

After being forced out by cash-strapped Barcelona in 2020, Suarez exacted revenge by proving instrumental in Atletico's monumental La Liga title triumph last season, when he scored 21 goals in 32 league appearances and finished as the team's top scorer.

The Uruguayan has been useful but less emphatic this term, scoring 14 goals in 48 appearances and his own dip from last year's high standards has been symptomatic of Atletico's malaise more generally.

Suarez has often started on the bench since the turn of the year, with Joao Felix increasingly preferred by Atletico coach Diego Simeone.

"I thank all the Atletico fans, every one of them," said Suarez afterwards.

"The love they gave me since I arrived has been amazing and I will not forget it. I tried to return it on the pitch, I gave myself 200 per cent to a club that opened its doors to me."