Barcelona s Ansu Fati celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Villareal FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)
MADRID — It was a difficult breakup for Luis Suárez and Barcelona.
Suárez had a hard time accepting that he was not wanted anymore. Barcelona worried it made the wrong decision by allowing him to join one of its rivals.
It didn't take long for both sides to move on, though, and to start looking forward to life apart.
Suárez thrived in his debut with Atlético Madrid on Sunday, scoring twice in a 6-1 rout of Granada in the Spanish league and showing that he will be a good fit in Diego Simeone's team. A few hours later, Barcelona had no problems scoring goals in a 4-0 defeat of Villarreal, performing well under new coach Ronald Koeman and seeing youngster Ansu Fati take over the team's scoring role.
"We scored four times, that was very good, I think the whole impression of the team was very good," said Koeman, who wished Suárez "the best of luck" but was confident his team could do well without a true striker up front.
The Dutch coach told Suárez he wasn't in his plans shortly after taking over the squad following the team's 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in August. He decided to rely on an attack led by Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Ousmane Dembélé and the 17-year-old Fati.
"(Fati) showed that he has a great future ahead of him with Barcelona," Koeman said. "I'm very happy with him, he played a great match."
Messi also scored for Barcelona in what was his first competitive match since being forced to stay after telling the club he wanted to leave. He had been among the players who criticized the Catalan club for the way it handled Suárez's exit.
The 33-year-old Uruguay striker, Barcelona's third all-time leading scorer, had an emotional farewell and said it was tough to accept Barcelona's decision. But it didn't take long for him to be smiling again, though, and he was thriving in an Atlético shirt only four days after being let go.
"It's a feeling of happiness," Suárez said. "The way the whole team welcomed me was crucial to give me confidence and tranquility, and that showed on the field."
He needed only about 20 minutes off the bench to show that his partnership with Simeone's team could be successful. He replaced Diego Costa in the 71st minute and quickly set up a goal and scored two others.
"Suárez arrival allows us to keep growing as a club and as a team," Simeone said. "His experience and his numbers will give us a greater attacking power."
Suárez will be teaming up with the veteran Costa and youngster João Félix, who also scored in the rout of Granada as Atlético opened its league campaign.
"The more good players we have, the better," Félix said. "Suárez's arrival is great for the team, is great for the club."
Atlético's next game is at promoted Huesca on Wednesday, while Barcelona visits Celta Vigo on Thursday.
Real Madrid, coming off its first win of the season at Real Betis on Saturday, hosts winless Valladolid on Wednesday.
LIVERPOOL, England — Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has injected another 100 million pounds ($135 million) into the club, saying Friday it demonstrates his commitment at a turbulent time as the team plunges toward the Premier League's relegation zone.
BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.
NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.
STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In