Luis Suarez insists his goal celebration during Atletico Madrid’s victory over Barcelona was not a mockery of former boss Ronald Koeman.
Suarez scored as reigning La Liga champions Atletico stepped up the pressure on the Barça manager with a 2-0 win at Wanda Metropolitano.
Sticking to Thomas Lemar’s pass in the 44th minute, the Uruguay striker stabilized before shooting behind Marc-Andre ter Stegen for his fourth goal of the season.
Suarez has now found the net against all 31 opponents he has faced in LaLiga, bringing his tally in the Spanish top flight to 172 goals.
The 34-year-old did not cheer immediately after his goal, but appears to be asking the fans of his former club for forgiveness, for which he scored 198 goals in 283 appearances, as well as providing 97 assists.
However, he later imitated being on the phone in what was perceived as a prank at the expense of Koeman, who informed the striker that he was not in his plans after taking over the Camp Nou in August 2020.
But Suarez says the gesture was actually a representation of a familiar joke.
“I already knew that if I scored, I would apologize, out of respect, love,” he said.
“[The phone signal] it was for people who know I have the same number and am still using the phone.
“It wasn’t for Koeman; I was joking with my kids that I would. “
It’s this man again.
It is again.
It is again. pic.twitter.com/oKn1Prx9Df
– Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) October 2, 2021
The 2-0 win also gave Atletico their third straight clean sheet against Barça for the first time in La Liga history.
More importantly, he brought Diego Simeone’s side to points level with leaders Real Madrid, who have one game short of their rivals.
“I’m happy for the team’s victory, which is what we want,” added Suarez.
The opponent we have in front of us is special, but my work must be 100% dedicated to Atletico.
“Last year, people suffered from not being able to enjoy the LaLiga title.
“I know the affection people have for me and I work hard and strong to keep Atletico at the top.”