The Barcelona made a “big mistake” by giving in to Luis Suarez to the Atlético de Madrid, said AFP his Uruguayan compatriot Diego Forlan. And for the former striker of the colchoneros, the latter have “completely erased” his status as eternal second before the Madrid Atlético-Real derby on Sunday in the League.
Was Barça wrong when transferring compatriot Luis Suárez to Atlético, a direct rival in various competitions?
“Of course it was a mistake. As soon as Barcelona said it was on the discard list, I knew it was a mistake. It was obvious that he was still a very important player for this team, it showed. He scores, he passes, and he’s also a high-impact player off the pitch. They are shown to miss it. It’s like when Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid. It was not only the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the best players in football history … There were also 50 goals a year. 50 goals! “
Is Suarez now looking to show Barça that they were wrong to sell it?
“I think anyone would like to show people that they were wrong in this situation. When you get punished for something you did not do, when you are still on top physically, when you play well, surely your goal is to show that you can still surrender. Now he is playing well, in a club that is fighting for the title, and with Uruguay he will play in the World Cup (in 2022), which will be perhaps his last. He still has many goals to meet. Luis still has a lot to give ”.
Now that Suárez has left Catalonia, do you think Lionel Messi could also leave Barça?
“In life, nobody is indispensable. No one. Not even Messi. I know he is one of the best players in the history of football, but another player will come. (If he leaves), La Liga will adapt. Maybe (Kylian) Mbappé will come. Maybe (Erling) Haaland will come. Barcelona took advantage of Messi for a long time, won so many titles and broke so many records … but FC Barcelona existed before Messi. They had Cruyff, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho … And he will continue to live afterwards ”.
Does Suárez take advantage of the fact that the pressure of results is less strong at Atlético than at Barcelona?
“If Barça or Real Madrid have a transition year and don’t win anything, it will be considered a failure. Atlético has this advantage: there is more patience, there is not the same pressure as in Barcelona or Real Madrid, which they have to win every year ”.
His arrival at Atlético in 2007 coincided with the return to the first continental plane of the club … Have the mattresses stopped being eternal seconds?
“There was always this feeling that everything could go well, but everyone expected the worst. When I arrived, we wanted to change that mindset more than anything. And when (coach Diego) Simeone arrived (in 2011), I think they completely erased him. Atlético is a strong team, a great club, with a very beautiful stadium. They fight for a second league title under the Simeone era. Nobody likes to face Atlético, either in La Liga or in the Champions League. . They have earned that respect, for everything they have built. That pessimistic spirit must be forgotten. They lost two Champions League finals. Narrowly. They won the King’s Cup, the Europa League, La Liga, the Spanish Super Cup … This team knows how to win. Sometimes, of course, sometimes you lose. But for them, now it would be a mistake to always think of the worst ”.
What memories do you have of your time at Atlético (2007-2011)?
“Of happiness. We have good and bad times. We arrived after a dark period, where everything was negative. We had good games, less good games, and it was difficult to change this culture. We qualified for the Champions League twice in a row (2008 and 2009), then we won the Europa League (2010), and then we changed the fate of the club. A big step for us and for the club. It was the beginning of something. “