Seen from May, after a season with the stadiums full of people, or almost, it seems incredible to think that it was not so long ago. The public in their seats, the fans with their team. When the Metropolitan reopened its doors for the first time this season, in August, it had a lot to celebrate. That they were coming back, first of all, that they had been champions, for the second time with Cholo, seven years later, in a League with Madrid and Barça. That during that year of empty stadiums and subtractions a Uruguayan had come to his team. Louis Suarez. A dream. The Uruguayan arrived at Atleti, Bartomeu and Koeman through, arrived at Atleti in the midst of the pandemic. Not so long ago I was crying in Zorrilla. The Champion Atleti. His 21 goals, key.
His name beat in the depths of that ovation. That of Atleti-Elche of the 2nd day of this 21-22. Today is the penultimate of the season. Atleti will not win anything, but they have already achieved what is like a title: qualifying for the next Champions League. And in the background of the applause, again, that name: Suárez. It will be the Uruguayan’s last match against this fans who thank him so much. The last in the Metropolitan. For parties it does not arrive. 81 that at most will be 83 because his contract ends this June and, it seems, except for a final Hitchcock twist, that he will not renew. He will be the starter. Simeone, a soccer man, who respects merit, will make him a starter (follow the match live on As.com).
The shadows around Lopetequi
The objective, that Champions League that was elusive in this irregular season, has been fulfilled. Another not trivial challenge ahead: finishing fourth is not the same as finishing third. Atleti is the latest, and look at Sevilla, ahead all season, through the rearview mirror. A Sevilla that beat him at Pizjuán, but that is far, far away. Lopetegui arrives between doubts, higher and higher, raining harder, and with the tweezers with which he has tried to hold down a team with two injuries per week, or more, all season. One point is missing. But the last three games have been three draws. And, the worst, badly, with an inconsequential game. And that Betis can still overtake him in the two remaining finals. And that does nothing, the only thing that seemed certain was the Champions League.
Travel without Martial, injured again, harshly endless story. Rekik returns, but not to be a starter. Papu was doubtful but he will play. A Papu who is not only the best soccer player in Sevilla but who looks at Cholo and sees a soccer father. As Bonus to Atleti. His house. From here he departed. Here he returns disputing the Zamora against Courtois. It depends on Atleti. That Atleti who wants to fire his Gunslinger with honors. It is not for less. Uruguayan. It is the penultimate.