Article by Josh Lawless
Atletico Madrid; a club that have vastly improved over the last few years and are the current Europa League holders. They have also been performing rather well in domestic competitions and currently lie in 2nd place in La Liga. Some may regard Atletico as pretty much a one-man team and when they boast a player with the quality that Falcao has and with him consistently scoring goals, it is difficult to say that they are not a one-man team. But most watchers of Spanish Football will argue that Atletico are not just a one-man team and they do have other crucial players in their side. The likes of Adrian and Arda Turan are called upon to supply the goals for Falcao and in all truth; they do an excellent job of it. However, there is one player that fails to get recognition for the work that he does and that player is Mario Suarez.
Suarez came through the ranks at Atletico, having come through the youth set up at the Spanish outfit and quickly made his way into the first team. In 2004, he broke into the 'B' Side and was a regular in the team, making 38 appearances. Opportunities were limited in the first team picture though and Suarez could only manage 4 appearances in his first spell with Atletico. So in order to gain a little more experience playing regular football, Suarez was sent out on loan on two occasions. Firstly the 25 year-old was sent on loan to Real Valladolid, who at the time was playing in the Segunda Division. He endured a successful stint with Valladolid, making 23 appearances, scoring 3 goals and helping the club achieve promotion to the top tier of Spanish Football.
A loan spell with Celta Viga followed where Suarez featured 26 times and notched up 2 goals from midfield. His impressive performances on loan may have warranted him more opportunities in the Atletico first team, but infact it didn't and he was subsequently sold to RCD Mallorca, though Atletico still had the option to buy Suarez back in the near future. Suarez appeared quite frequently for Mallorca and came up with a string of top performances in defensive midfield and scored 5 goals in his 2-year stint with the Vermillions. That prompted Atletico to take advantage of the opportunity of buying Suarez back and after helping Mallora, qualify for the Europa League, he returned to the Estadio Vicente Calderon.
Since moving back to Los Colchoneros, he has flourished and become an integral part of the side that is constantly improving and developing. Obviously Radamel Falcao is the player that steals the headlines, but Suarez has established himself as a regular side and has been a important player for Diego Simeone's men. La Liga is deemed to be quite an entertaining league in terms of the standard of football that is played and it is quite popular, with many people watching. But most people who watch La Liga, will have their eyes on talented players like Falcao, Ronaldo, Isco and Messi. The players aforementioned above are one's that are often in the spotlight, but that takes away the attention that people like Suarez deserve, because he is always performing and putting in a shift in midfield.
A lot of people will not be familiar with Suarez, but he is a player that should be looked at more often, for he is brilliant to watch. He is so comfortable on the ball and he provides a great deal of protection for the Atletico back line. Atletico achieved a huge achievement last season when they claimed the Europa League and though it was Falcao's goal's that wrote their name on the trophy, Suarez did his bit and produced a top performance in the final against Bilbao.
Suarez, like a host of players like Mikel Arteta and others, have failed to make it on the international scene and despite playing several times for the U-16, U-17, U-19, U-20 and U-21 sides, he is yet to make an appearance for the national team, but when you take into consideration the standard of midfielders that Spain possess, then you understand why is yet to be picked for his country.
There a lot of players in the world who fail to attract attention and Suarez is an ideal example. He consistently performs for Atletico and some would believe he could do a good job in a Premier League team as the physical style of the Premier League would probably suit him. With him still only being 25, it means he still has time to finally become more noticeable and then we might be sitting here talking a little more about Mario Suarez.