It was September 2014, and Atleti had just beaten Real Madrid at the Bernabeu by two goals to one.
After the match, a jubilant Mario Suarez posted photos of him as a kid on Instagram. Not just any photos, photos of him when he was a youngster training and playing for Atleti.
“These victories are always special, but even more when you’ve been wearing these colours since you were a kid,” said Mario on the photo’s caption.
Now nearly a year later, Mario has completed a move to Fiorentina, while central defender Savic comes the other way.
Atleti is apparently paying Fiorentina €15 million for Savic, and loaning Mario to the Italian side with an obligatory €12 million buyout fee.
It’s time to say goodbye to an ‘Atletico de verdad’ – a real Atlético.
Mario came to Atleti when he was just 12 years old and he made his debut against Sevilla when he was just 18 years old. In search of minutes, the youngster went out to Valladolid, Celta and Mallorca.
He returned to Atleti in 2010 with a huge afro to his name and now he leaves with a nearly shaved head, 184 matches in the red and white, not counting the hundreds of youth matches he played for Atleti, and a cabinet filled with the trophies he won at the club of his dreams.
Precisely, one Europa League, one League title, two UEFA Super Cups, one Copa del Rey and one Spanish Super Cup.
His performances for the club, while criticised by some, earned him call ups to the Spanish national team.
As a footballer, Mario may have been inconsistent in his time as an Atleti player. However, his commitment to the club is something that can’t be questioned.
His love and passion for Atleti is as strong as can be. Atleti isn’t just losing a player, but also a fan; one of us.
All we can say is, thank you Mario and good luck in Italy.
Forza Atleti y forza Super Mario! Uno di noi!