Friday, December 4, 2020

Suarez confident Atletico Madrid can achieve big things

SoccerNews in La Liga 16 Nov 2020

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Atletico Madrid star Luis Suarez said he and his team-mates are confident the team can achieve “big things” this season.

Suarez swapped Barca for Atletico at the start of the 2020-21 campaign and the Uruguayan has helped the capital club remain the only undefeated side in LaLiga this term.

Atletico have won five of their opening seven matches to be three points behind surprise leaders Real Sociedad, who have played two matches more – while they are 23 matches unbeaten in LaLiga, their best undefeated streak in league history and the best current run of any team in the top five European divisions.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico – runners-up in 2014 and 2016 – are also second in Champions League Group A following three matchdays, five points adrift of titleholders Bayern Munich.

Suarez has scored five LaLiga goals – level with Joao Felix at Atletico – and reflecting on his start to life in Madrid, the 33-year-old told Marca Sport Weekend: “I’m enjoying it a lot. I’m following Atleti’s path. The team is very united, solid, ambitious. We are all ready and confident we can do big things.”

Atletico have won just one of their opening three Champions League group games this season – the only two previous seasons in which they have won as few at this stage are 2009-10 and 2017-18 (zero wins) when they were eliminated on both occasions.

They have also won just one of their past five Champions League away fixtures (drawing once and losing on three occasions), with that victory coming against Liverpool at Anfield in March.

“I think the Champions League is very different to LaLiga,” Suarez said. “It’s all about the moment of each team. It’s very physical now. The game against Bayern was because they were more efficient than us. From five or six chances they scored four. We had more chances but we couldn’t convert them. That’s costly in the Champions League.

“If we improve on that efficiency, we can compete against Bayern, who are the best team in Europe, or Liverpool, who the team already knocked out last season.

“If we know what we want and believe in ourselves, we’re capable because we have the players, character and quality. We just need to be clinical in those crucial moments. That’s what you have to do in the Champions League.”

Suarez and Barcelona will reunite following the international break when Atletico play host to the Catalan visitors on Saturday.

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