Atletico Madrid came from behind to beat Real Valladolid 2-1, thanks to a 67 minutes goal by Luis Suarez. Diego Simeone’s Atletico are the 2020/21 LaLiga Santander Champions.
Atletico Madrid came into the last game of the season with a 2 points lead over the city rivals, Real Madrid. A draw by Atletico and a win by Real Madrid would have handed the trophy to Zinedine Zidane’s men.
An early goal by Oscar Plano in the 18th minute gave Real Valladolid the lead, but it took Simeone’s men until the 57th minute to get an equaliser, through Angel Correa.
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Atletico put one hand on the trophy in the 67th minute when Sergi Guardiola’s awful pass led to Suarez finding himself one on one with Jordi Masip. The one man every goalkeeper wishes they never get to face one on one, calmly slotted the ball past the Valladolid goalkeeper.
Discarded by Barcelona and embarrassed by a failed transfer to Juventus after accusations of cheating on his Italian proficiency exam, Suárez’s arrival at Atlético on a free transfer ended up as a title-defining move. After scoring 21 league goals this season, the 34-year-old fought through tears in his post-game interview as Atlético fans set off flares and fireworks outside Real Valladolid’s empty stadium.
Speaking to the press after the game, Match and title winner Suarez was in tears, “Barca didn’t value me and Atletico opened their doors for me. I will always be grateful to this club for trusting in me”.
It had taken nearly every minute of all 38 weeks, through deadlock and drama, but La Liga has finally crowned a champion with Atlético Madrid securing its first league title since 2014.
Atletic de Madrid twitted; “We did, together, one game at a time. Thank you for your endless support.”
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 22, 2021
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur