Suarez bids Atletico farewell as Sevilla qualify for Champions League

Suarez bids Atletico farewell as Sevilla qualify for Champions League

Suarez bids Atletico farewell as Sevilla qualify for Champions League

Atletico Madrid’s Uruguayan 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 the Spanish league football match between Club Atletico de Madrid and Sevilla FC at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid on May 15, 2022. (Credits: AFP)


After a 1-1 tie with Sevilla on Sunday, Luis Suarez declared that Atletico Madrid will always be in his heart.

With a late equalizer by Youssef En-Nesyri at the Wanda Metropolitaniano, Sevilla eventually clinched their spot in La Liga’s top four, ensuring qualification for the Champions League.

“Thank you Lucho for making us champions”, read a giant banner unfurled in the crowd before kick-off while Suarez was visibly tearful as he paraded the pitch with his family after full-time.

When his two-year contract with Atletico expires this summer, the 35-year-old is expected to leave.

Suarez avenged himself after being released by cash-strapped Barcelona in 2020 by playing a key role in Atletico’s historic La Liga title success last season, scoring 21 goals in 32 league matches and finishing as the team’s leading scorer.


This season, the Uruguayan has been useful but not spectacular, scoring 14 goals in 48 games, and his decline from last season’s high standards has been symptomatic of Atletico’s general malaise.

Since the turn of the year, Suarez has been relegated to the bench, with Diego Simeone increasingly preferring Joao Felix.

“I thank all the Atletico fans, every one of them,” said Suarez afterward.

“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.

“I will always carry the affection of this club with me after not being able to enjoy myself the previous season. I will take Atletico with me in my heart.”

Jose Gimenez’s first-half header appeared to seal Atletico’s victory, and with Real Betis defeating Granada, Sevilla’s battle for fourth place would have come down to the final day.


Instead, with five minutes remaining, En-Nesyri nodded in Oliver Torres’ cross to give Sevilla the point they needed to secure their top-four berth after a difficult few weeks that saw their coach Julen Lopetegui under fire.

Instead, following the final whistle, Sevilla’s exuberant players hurled Lopetegui into the air.

En-equalizer Nesyri’s also kept Atletico from clinching third place.

Atletico is a point ahead of Sevilla and will face Real Sociedad away next weekend to clinch the season. Athletic Bilbao will play Sevilla at home.

Real Sociedad came back from a goal down to upset Villarreal 2-1 at La Ceramica in what was advertised as a Europa League qualifying match.

Villarreal needed to win to keep their hopes of finishing sixth alive, and they seized the lead shortly before halftime thanks to Francis Coquelin’s acrobatic effort.


In the second half, La Real came roaring back, with Alexander Isak tapping in at the back post and Martin Zubimendi prodding in after Villarreal failed to clear.

Real Sociedad and Real Betis will play in the Europa League next season, but Villarreal are one point ahead of Athletic Bilbao and may require a victory away at Barcelona on the final day of the season to qualify for the Europa Conference League.


Barca grabs second spot

Barcelona finished second, despite a dull, goalless draw away at Getafe, extending the Catalans’ disappointing season.

The result, however, benefited both teams because a point ensured Getafe’s survival, while Barca qualified for the Spanish Super Cup, which will pay them roughly €8 million.


Cadiz, who are in the midst of a relegation battle, disappointed the Nuevo Mirandilla with a 1-1 draw at home to already-crowned champions Real Madrid.

Carlo Ancelotti is continuing to rotate his team ahead of the Champions League final against Liverpool on May 28, with Karim Benzema, Thibaut Courtois, and Luka Modric all remaining at home.

While Cadiz equalised through Ruben Sobrino, Madrid could have won when Andrey Lunin knocked down Alvaro Negredo and the referee pointed to the spot. Lunin made up for it by saving Negredo’s penalty kick.

Mallorca is level on points with Cadiz after overcoming Rayo Vallecano 2-1 at Son Moix, with Abdon Prats scoring an astonishing 92nd-minute winner.

Granada, who are one point clear of Mallorca and Cadiz, were defeated 2-0 by Real Betis away from home. After losing 3-1 against Levante, Alaves joined Levante in being demoted.



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