Luis Suarez scored his 19th league goal of the season during Atletico Madrid‘s 1-0 victory over Alaves on Sunday.
The result meant that Diego Simeone’s men were able to maintain their four-point lead at the top of LaLiga.
For Suarez himself, the goal had an extra more personal meaning. It was the Uruguayan’s 500th career goal for club and country.
He becomes only the fifth active player to reach the landmark, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
And Suarez posted an open letter on Instagram after goal number 500, thanking both his fans and former clubs, as well as Atletico.
He made particular note of his move to Dutch side Groningen in 2009 – his first foray into European football. The Uruguayan also detailed his subsequent spells at Ajax, Liverpool, Barcelona and Atletico.
On Liverpool, he wrote (translation via Football-Espana): “And Liverpool? Liverpool was special.
“The connection with the fans inspired me to face the challenge of playing in such a competitive league.”
Suarez called representing his country “my greatest honour”.
He concluded the letter by saying: “You may not know it, but you played your part in all the goals I have scored so far.
“And today, I thank all the fans who supported me in my teams throughout all these years, from Montevideo to Madrid, from 0 to 500.
“And there is more to come…”
Suarez’s path to the elite
Suarez began his professional career in 2005 with Uruguayan side Nacional.
He moved to Europe and the Eredivisie in 2006 with Groningen, before being signed by Dutch giants Ajax the following year.
The forward became Liverpool‘s record signing (albeit only for a matter of hours until Andy Carroll’s £35 million transfer was agreed) when he joined for a fee of around £22.7 million in 2011.
It was with the Reds that Suarez established himself as arguably the finest central striker in world football.
He fired in 31 goals during what became his final Premier League season with the club. That attracted the interest of Barcelona, who signed Suarez in the summer of 2014.
After scoring nearly 200 goals in six seasons with Barca, he joined Atletico last summer. And the goals keep on flowing for Suarez – including number 500.
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