Just how Super is Mario?

Not much splits Atleti fans more than the subject of Mario Suarez

Mario Suarez

Mario Suarez

On the 5th June 2010, Mario Suarez Mata signed for Atlético Madrid from Mallorca.

The 23 year old had impressed whilst playing for Mallorca and was a important part of the side that finished fifth in the previous term. The cantera product was back after a succession of loan spells, eventually being sold.

Upon arrival he had to fight for the holding midfielder role with another Atleti player that fans either loved or hated; Paulo Assuncao.

Since then the madrileño has amassed 6 trophy winning medals, including a Europa League, Copa Del Rey and Super Cup – Mario started in all those finals.

He has also started the last 4 matches in both League and Champions League of which 12/12 points were gained. This is of course due to the injury of Tiago and out of touch Gabi but he has taken his chance for playing time with both hands.

To say the 27-year-old isn’t too popular with a section of colchoneros is an understatement.

His continued presence doesn’t bode well and some fans feel he should’ve left with Adrian in the summer. There is no doubt that Suarez could be criticized about his lack of consistency on the pitch and with his good current form there has been speculation as to when the bubble will burst.

Additionally, many claim he lacks a killer instinct especially when he finds himself in attacking positions, his miss against Rayo an example. Unlike Raul Garcia, Juanfran, Gabi, Tiago et al he is one of the players that seems to not have exceeded their maximum capabilities under Simeone. There is no doubt that he has improved but not quite in the way that many expected him to.

However, Suarez wouldn’t be a mainstay in this Atleti side if it wasn’t for a reason. Simeone demands 100% and then some. Mario Suarez’s effort can’t be faltered and if it’s good enough for the boss then who are we to criticize? combined with commitment Mario has an acute sense of positioning.

His football intelligence allows him to be in the right place at the time without running around like a headless chicken which can be misconstrued as laziness. His goal against Espanyol takes his tally to one but he is not in the squad for goals (that job is for our other Mario) and he has adjusted well to the reshuffle of the midfield where Koke is now the conductor.

With Atleti becoming more and more successful it is only natural for standards to raise and in turn anyone not playing at their peak will find themselves under the microscope very soon.

Is the criticism fair or is it justified? What is your opinion on our number 4?


  • Chewie

    It’s simple, just compare Suarez to our other DMs. Tiago is better in every way (except age), Gabi is plain superior, Saul is more talented, even RG8 can do the job better. And these are not extra-class players. Which means that Suarez is at best not bad. If we did a recording with all his mistakes, we would’ve been shocked. The only positive memory of him is playing an extraordinary final against Athletic.

  • Great article Luis Antonio, we wish we see more from you
    And great comment – as usual – Chewie

    We can compare Mario to Tiago and Gabi like Chewie did, or we can compare him to Assuncao (one of the worst players I’ve ever seen with Atleti), or with that player with the Afro haircut who played for us four years ago
    That was a disaster, and I used to curse him every single game, but then he cut his hair and became a very different player (maybe his hair was his weakness, just like it was Samson’s strength !)
    I think Europa League final was not his only extraordinary game, the cup final against Real Madrid was great too, that ball he stole from Ronaldo and passed it to Falcao and ended up an equalizer is enough

    If he can have magnificent performances in such 2 big finals and if he was selected -even once- for La Roja who have the best midfield in the world, then he has what it takes to be a great player
    He has improved a lot since 2010-11, and he keeps improving, maybe at a slower rate than our other players, but I don’t call him a disaster anymore

    I mean if we signed Yaya Toure then we should let him go, but definitely not for Guarin (as we keep reading in every transfer market) or Capoue (who we tried to sign last season) or Guilavogui

    We keep asking the players to be loyal to the club, but what about the club and the fans being loyal to the players, especially the canteranos, who – as I always say – can give us something more, even if they had less quality than the outsiders

    For me, Mario Suarez is another Raul Garcia, but in the first half of the field .

  • When watching the Malmo game (yes, it is only one game) he seemed like the missing 11th player. In the sense, was he contributing anything more that being a body on the field? Ouch, I know, it is harsh. But he is the one player I can not remember doing anything. Tiago and almost all of the others that play in his position; I have at least one moment of glory from them, from this year alone. Obviously he must be competent because we have won to many games with him on the field. He may be the dirty little secret no one has caught onto or the weak link other teams keep forgetting about. I am still up in the air with him. I think his real problem is he does nothing on the field that is memorable. Which means you get comments like mine, and when it is time to get new players, this is the position fans think about. I apologize for being harsh. On a positive about Mario, I don’t recall most of Malmo’s breaks on goal being in his territory. So he must be doing it right.

  • Farzad From IRaN

    all of us love him and we now he is super mario

  • Αθανάσιος Νικηταράς

    Agree with you. For me he is the worst player at our first 11, but to find a better that him would be too expencive and we don’t have the money. So for now he is fine, until Saúl is ready to take his place

  • Kris

    I just think Mario doesn’t give it his all during games. It was a magnificent performance in the Europa League final. But afterall, he is a defensive midfielder, so he doesn’t get as much recognition as the others. He has made a quite of few errors though; unusual for an Atleti player in the Simeone era.

  • Chewie

    Most of our players have what it takes in terms of abilities and skill. However, to be superb you need something extra, some psychological quality – be it drive or stability, I don’t know. RG8 has it, and about Mario I’m not so sure.

  • starvs

    He, along with aging Tiago, are a good enough stop gap until Saul is ready for full time. Saul, Koke, Oli next year?