Luis Suarez believes he was underestimated by Barcelona after returning Atletico Madrid to their first La Liga title in seven years.
The Uruguayan international’s 21st campaign goal secured a 2-1 comeback for Real Valladolid as Atletico were crowned champions ahead of city rivals Real Madrid.
Suarez has scored 195 goals in six prolific seasons with Barca, but was allowed to leave Camp Nou last summer to settle in the Spanish capital.
The 34-year-old has clearly proven his skeptics wrong this quarter and is in full-time tears on Sunday afternoon.
“It’s difficult. The situation I had to go through, the way I was despised, but Atletico opened the door for me,” he said, according to Marca.
“A lot of people have suffered with me – my wife, my children.
“Day after day, they were the ones who suffered the most in my many years in football.
“We had a great year. Despite the challenges, we were the most consistent team and we are the champions.
“In the first half of the season we had an efficiency which was not normal.”
Second-half goals from Angel Correa and Suarez set aside Oscar Plano’s opener to win an 11th La Liga title for Atletico.
Diego Simeone’s men’s victory relegated Valladolid and proved crucial as defending champions, Real – who needed to beat Villarreal to have a chance to snatch the silverware – also reversed a deficit to win 2-1, thanks to late goals from Karim Benzema and Luka Modric.
The Rojiblancos finished two points ahead of Zinedine Zidane’s side, while former Suarez club Barcelona were still five points behind in third.
Manager Simeone was at the helm when Atletico last won the title – in 2014 – and found himself with different emotions this time around.
“They are different, with different feelings. The world is going through a very bad situation and I hope we have made a lot of people happy,” he said.
“Spending 32 weeks at the top is huge. I’m grateful, especially to those who played less than the rest. We remained a team with a goal and we were every minute of it.”
Simeone has been in charge of Atletico for a decade and, while he recognizes that people can get tired of his methods, believes the club can continue to grow.
“I have no doubt that people can get tired,” said the 51-year-old.
“But I am very fearless. I knew and I know that this club can continue to grow and I hope it will continue like this.
“The club just keeps growing. All the unseen people have given the club stability beyond the results. They have always wanted this. They are not here to celebrate, but soon we will all be kissing.”