Luis Suárez Rediscovers His Chew

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When coach and player first spoke by cellphone, Simeone detected “the energy, the hunger, the defiance” that haven’t only characterised Suárez, however that additionally had been Simeone’s best attributes as a player. Most of all, although, Simeone felt that Suárez had one thing to show. “He had a desire to show that he is still relevant,” the coach said.

It’s tempting to ascribe Suárez’s form in Madrid to the re-ignition of that internal fireplace. He has all the time, in spite of everything, given the impression that he’s at his best when he has one thing or somebody to rage towards, whether or not it’s an opponent, an authority or, on this case, merely the dying of the sunshine. “Some did not believe I was still capable of playing at the top level,” Suárez said this week.

And but it’s doable, too, to imagine that the other is true: that Suárez has discovered himself once more not in war, however in peace.

His former international teammate Sebastián Abreu informed the Spanish newspaper El País this week that he believed Barcelona had, in Suárez’s final yr with the membership, “mounted a campaign where they identified Luis as the problem with everything, together with Lionel Messi.” Suárez, judging by his public comments, appears to agree with that assessment.

With Atlético, against this, he has not only encountered a coach who — as Abreu put it — “knows perfectly how to treat a player,” he has additionally discovered a membership that isn’t “blaming Suárez for every situation, and so that has liberated him to enjoy playing soccer completely.” With out battles to struggle off the field, he has been capable of dedicate himself as soon as once more to profitable them on it.

Simply as crucially, he has discovered himself on a team ready to offer him the help he must do so. Simply as Atlético has revived Suárez, so he has revived Atlético. Simeone had all the time regarded Suárez because the best pure striker on this planet, however he was conscious that he was, in his mid-30s, not capable of play on the counterattack fairly so devastatingly as he had, say, with Liverpool in his mid-20s.

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