La Liga: Jan Oblak’s unique feat, Suarez can’t thank Atletico enough
After over three weeks of edge-of-the-seat drama, the La Liga title race ended in Atletico Madrid’s favour last night. Atlético beat Valladolid 2-1 with Luis Suarez scoring the winning goal in the 67th minute. Despite going through a season to forget, Real Madrid should be praised for not throwing in the towel till the last day of the season. The Blancos registered a late comeback win over Villareal (2-1), thanks to Luka Modric’s stoppage time goal. But, all said and done, the limelight is on Atletico for winning their 11th La Liga crown.
Apart from Suarez and Diego Simeone, Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak also got his share of the limelight by winning his fifth Ricardo Zamora Trophy. Oblak has a major role to play in Atletico’s triumph with the lowest goal-to-games ratio. And he is the first Spanish player to win the award five times. Earlier, he had won it in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019. “We all have merits. To be champion, the whole team has to be at an incredible level. Only one is not going to solve it. The whole team has done everything to win the championship, to be the team with the fewest goals,” Oblak told Spanish broadcaster Movistar after the win. According to various reports, he is being targeted by Manchester United and Chelsea.
Suarez ‘grateful’ to Atletico
Suarez thanked Atletico for “opening their doors” in August 2020, and did not hold himself back from taking a swipe at his former club Barcelona. “I had to live through a difficult situation, starting the season being under-appreciated and Atletico opened the door to give me the chance to show that I could still be a force. That's why I'm always going to be grateful to this great club for trusting me,” he told AFP after the game last night. Suarez has scored 21 goals this season for Atletico.
Simeone over the moon
Diego Simeone is now the greatest Atletico manager. The numbers say so. Under him, Atletico won eight titles in nine years, which includes two Europa Leagues, two UEFA Super Cups, one Copa del Rey, one Spanish Supercup and the other La Liga title in 2014. Raising a toast to Los Rojiblancos after a hard-fought season, Simeone said, “I'm happy for a lot of people. It has been a very complex year, and so many people have been lost because of the virus, so for Atletico to be champions is different. It was a tough year, like our history; it's one of the best years to be champions.”