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Atletico Madrid ace Luis Suarez: So many claimed I could no longer compete at elite level

Atletico Madrid ace Luis Suarez has taken a swipe at his past critics.

The summer signing from Barcelona has been one of the best players in LaLiga Santander this season, showing his undoubted quality at the age of 34 after so many had written him off.

"Everyone likes a challenge, and coming here [to Atletico] was a very big challenge for me for many reasons," he told Club del Deportista.

"Last year I received criticism and it was said I was no longer able to compete for big things, or that at Barcelona I could not compete at a high level.

"And that creates a challenge for you on an individual level as it makes you want to continue showing that you are among the elite of football when arriving at Atletico, [and show] that there is a reason why I have been the kind of player that I have for so many years.

"I took it as a big challenge and with great enthusiasm. I do not regret anything, on the contrary: excited and eager to continue demonstrating [his quality]."

For the incredible season he has, Suarez admitted to be sad about the fact that there could be no fans in the stadiums to enjoy his 19 LaLiga Santander goals.

"The warmth of the crowd is something I very much miss: the atmosphere, playing at a full stadium and at home, because I have suffered without," he said.

"Also because my children and my family enjoy being inside a full stadium, it would be spectacular.

"But we hope to be able to do it very soon," he added.

To be able to celebrate his goals inside a packed Wanda Metropolitano is what he is hoping for.

"No, I can't imagine it. Let's hope the moment comes, and it would be incredible, because I know that the Atletico fans are very grateful for the effort that has been made," he said.

"We work on the field to receive that recognition as a group and to achieve things but, on an individual level, when people recognise you, it is something very nice."

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