The Uruguayan was reluctant to celebrate as he put his old team-mates to the sword at the Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez pressed his hands together to ask forgiveness after deepening Barcelona’s crisis with his first goal against his former employers on Saturday.
The Uruguayan hit late in the first half to put Atletico 2-0 up over the struggling Catalans at the break, which turned out to be the final score.
Suarez remained respectful of Barcelona’s plight, refusing to celebrate even as his team-mates mobbed him in jubilation. He did, however, also offer a gesture that could be interpreted as a shot as his ex-manager Ronald Koeman.
A memorable strike
Saturday’s clash was the second time Suarez had met Barcelona since completing his move across La Liga in the summer of 2020.
A positive Covid-19 test robbed the forward of the chance to play against his old team-mates in the first league match of last season, while he drew a blank in May’s 0-0 draw as Atletico closed in on the title.
This time, though, he was on target, picking up on a sumptuous pass from Thomas Lemar – who had opened the scoring at the Wanda Metropolitano – and firing home to double Atleti’s lead.
Suarez refused to celebrate his strike, though, instead offering a gesture of contrition to the Barcelona contingent, having spent six trophy-laden years at Camp Nou prior to his move.
“I knew if I scored I wasn’t going to celebrate,” Suarez told Movistar after the game.
Suarez’s following gesture, though, caused something of a stir.
The forward, who was reportedly told by Koeman he was surplus to requirements over a minute-long call before moving to Atletico, mimicked using a telephone after his goal, while the under-pressure Barca coach looked on.
When asked if the gesture was intented for Koeman though, Suarez denied it had to do with his former boss.
“It was for the people who know I have the same number, so they know I’m still on my phone,” the forward said.
“It was something I had agreed on with my kids.”