Europe European Leagues

Suarez brings Atletico leadership, with Costa bringing character, says Simeone

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa and new signing Luis Suarez can form a deadly partnership this season, affirms coach Diego Simeone.

Costa opened the ledger and scored Atletico’s first goal in the 6-1 mauling of Granada on Sunday before Suarez made his presence felt by marking his debut since switching from Barcelona with an incredible return of two goals and an assist in the compressed space of 20 minutes.

“Of course they can play together. The important thing is that they play to the best of their abilities, Diego with his character, Suarez with his leadership,” Simeone told a news conference ahead of Atletico’s game at Huesca on Wednesday.

“They are different players. Diego likes to play down the wings and run into space, while Suarez is better at short sprints, making diagonal runs into the area, playing with his back to goal and being a dangerous presence in the area.”

Simeone, however, was tight-lipped and did not give any hints as to how his team would look against Huesca.

“Costa and Suarez might start together or they may play together at some point during the game or play separately,” he teased.

Suarez has been one of the most prolific forwards in Spain in the last six years, notching 198 goals in that period for Barca and secured the achievement of being the club’s third-highest goalscorer ever.

Costa, on the other hand, has struggled to return to the form which saw him help fire Atletico to the Spanish title in 2014. Since returning to Atletico from Chelsea in 2018, he has only managed 11 La Liga goals and his place looked to be under threat from the arrival of Suarez.

Fortuitously for him, club president Enrique Cerezo has declared the Brazilian forward will stay this season, adding that the club have given up their pursuit of Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani.

Simeone welcomed the news.

“I was always taught to support the president whenever he spoke so I’m getting behind everything he said,” he added.

Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia