Lionel Messi is welcome to join Luis Suarez at Atletico Madrid if he still wants to play alongside the Uruguayan, Los Colchoneros president Enrique Cerezo has cheekily suggested.

Suarez was unceremoniously dumped by Barca last week, selling him to Atletico for just €6million after six years at Camp Nou.

In that time Suarez rose to third on the club's all-time leading scorers list, but the way his exit was handled angered close friend Messi, who wants to leave Barca.

The initial decision in pre-season to get rid of Suarez reportedly contributed to the club's captain and talisman asking to leave and, although he failed to force a transfer, he again showed his disdain for those in charge by publicly lambasting them for the Uruguayan's exit.

Suarez made his Atletico debut in Sunday's 6-1 demolition of Granada, coming off the bench to devastating effect as he scored twice and got an assist.

And Cerezo has audaciously suggested Messi joins Suarez at the Wanda Metropolitano, borrowing a marketing slogan from Spanish nougat company El Almendro.

"In life, if you want something... If Leo Messi wants to play with Luis Suarez, I tell him the same thing that is said with nougat: 'Let him come home for Christmas'. With desire, anything is possible," he said on Cadena Cope.

Despite the turmoil at Barca over the past seven weeks, Cerezo showed support to his under-fire counterpart at Camp Nou, Josep Maria Bartomeu.

"Everything [with the Suarez signing] went perfectly well," he said. "Bartomeu is a good friend and a great president.

"At the moment things are not going well at Barcelona, but he has acted as he had to act and nothing else has happened. The signing was not complicated, the player plays where he wanted to play."

But Suarez's international colleague Edinson Cavani will not be joining him at Atletico, having previously been mooted as a replacement for Diego Costa.

"Diego Costa is a player that Atletico Madrid needs," Cerezo added. "The season is very long. You don't have to complicate things.

"I don't think there will be a change at Atleti. Cavani's circumstances have not been the same as those of Luis Suarez.

"He is a fantastic player, but everything is different. It wasn't because of me or his brother [Walter Guglielmone, also his agent] that he didn't come."

Diego Simeone was more impressed by Luis Suarez's assist and movement off the ball than his two goals in Atletico Madrid's 6-1 LaLiga rout of Granada.

Suarez was brought on in the 70th minute and marked his Atleti debut in style by netting an impressive double and setting up fellow substitute Marcos Llorente on Sunday.

The Uruguay international, who only joined in a €6million deal from Barcelona on Friday, also won a penalty that was overturned by VAR in a one-sided LaLiga contest.

Suarez scored with two types of finishes – one a brilliant header and the other a cute first-time finish on the rebound – but head coach Simeone was most pleased by the way his new forward teed up Llorente with only his second touch of the ball.

"His two goals didn't stand out for me, but his assists, his runs and his movement did," Simeone said after the match.

"The changes gave us a bit extra with the strength of Marcos, the quality of Vitolo, the clarity of Thomas [Partey] and Suarez knows what he has to do: play for the team."

Diego Costa, Angel Correa and Joao Felix were also on target for Atletico at the Wanda Metropolitano as they recorded their biggest win in an opening league game under Simeone.

Atleti have been tipped to rival Real Madrid and Barca for the title this term and Simeone is hopeful that increased competition for a starting spot can get the most out of his players.

"It will depend on our work, our squad depth and the players' security. The team was liberated," he said. 

"The arrival of an important player improves the team, but the team was already working very well. Now we'll continue taking it game by game, like always.

"Suarez's arrival generates a very good internal competition and if the 23 players accept the minutes they're going to get, I'm sure we'll compete well

"From my perspective, when it comes to building a squad, I look for guys who know how to perform and who accept when they play and when they don't.

"That's how great teams are formed. That's what gives you the possibility of having more options. That's what we're looking for season by season."

Luis Suarez revealed he felt the need for "fresh air" before leaving Barcelona as he scored twice in a remarkable debut for Atletico Madrid.

Suarez came on in the 70th minute at Wanda Metropolitano with Atleti 3-0 up against Granada thanks to goals from Diego Costa, Angel Correa and Joao Felix, while Saul Niguez had missed a penalty.

A stunning cameo followed, with Suarez netting a brilliant double after providing an assist for his fellow substitute Marcos Llorente.

The 33-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona as the Catalan club look to rebuild under Ronald Koeman, but Suarez believes the time was right for him to move on.

"Very good, very happy for the debut, for the three points," he told Movistar. "When you make your debut and help the team with goals, you are always happy.

"It is a moment in which I needed fresh air, it is important to change and accept it.

"I come to a club that has given me a spectacular welcome, the atmosphere is very good from the beginning and that is reflected on the field."

Before Suarez stole the show, Joao Felix had put in an impressive display partnering Costa up front, having teed up Correa's goal prior to getting on the scoresheet himself.

"We're feeling good about ourselves. We've completed a great game, scoring many goals and creating lots of chances," he told Atleti's club media.

"We have to continue like this. I'm feeling good. I'm happy and enjoying myself. Things are going well.

"This was just the first game, but we want to complete a very, very good season. We're working towards that. We started today and have to continue against Huesca."

 

Luis Suarez was deemed surplus to requirements as Barcelona have looked to rejuvenate their squad, but the 33-year-old stole the show in a 6-1 victory on his Atletico Madrid debut.

Atleti were already 3-0 up against Granada in LaLiga by the time Suarez was introduced in the 70th minute at Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday, setting the stage for him to take the headlines.

In a remarkable cameo, Suarez scored twice, provided an assist and won a penalty, which was subsequently overturned by VAR.

Suarez, who scored with a brilliant header and then a cute first-time finish on the rebound after he had hit the post, managed four attempts in total, created one chance and completed 10 passes from his 16 touches, with a 70 per cent passing accuracy.

His tally of shots was the most of any player on either side, while his two efforts on target both resulted in goals. The assist, for fellow substitute Marcos Llorente, came with just his second touch.

The Uruguay striker's double makes him the first Atleti debutant to net a brace, while he is also the first player to both score and assist on his debut for the club in the 21st century.

With Suarez's star quality to call on, Diego Simeone's side could be well placed to mount a serious title challenge this term.

A penny for Lionel Messi's thoughts.

Luis Suarez scored twice and assisted another in a dream debut off the bench in Atletico Madrid's 6-1 demolition of Granada in their opening LaLiga fixture.

The Uruguay forward, who joined from Barcelona in a €6million deal on Friday, had already provided an assist for Marcos Llorente and won a penalty that was overturned by the time he powered in a header for his first Atleti goal.

Jorge Molina's consolation brought only brief joy for Granada as Suarez, who only entered the fray in the 70th minute, rounded off a sensational cameo in second-half injury time.

The result was already beyond doubt before Suarez's introduction with Diego Costa heading Atleti in front and, after Saul Niguez missed a first-half penalty, Angel Correa and Joao Felix were also on target prior to the late glut of goals.

Luis Suarez will have to wait for his full Atletico Madrid debut after the former Barcelona striker was named on the bench for Sunday's clash with Granada.

Uruguay star Suarez completed a €6million move to Atleti on Friday, after being deemed surplus to requirements by Barca.

New Barca boss Ronald Koeman revealed in his news conference on Saturday that, while he planned to discard Suarez anyway, the decision to sell the former Liverpool star had already been made before he arrived at Camp Nou, much to Lionel Messi's chagrin.

Diego Simeone was full of praise for his latest addition in the build-up to Atleti's home game against Granada, confirming the 33-year-old would be involved, though he did not reveal if Suarez would start.

Ultimately, the striker had to settle for a place on the bench at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Joao Felix partnering Diego Costa up front.

Alongside Suarez among the Atleti substitutes is midfielder Thomas Partey, who is reportedly the subject of interest from Arsenal.

Simeone elected to go with Koke and Saul Niguez in central midfield, with Yannick Carrasco and Angel Correa out wide, and a back four of Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savic, Felipe and Renan Lodi – who enjoyed a fine maiden LaLiga season in 2019-20.

Defender Jose Gimenez – a mooted Manchester City target – is in quarantine after testing positive for coronavirus.

Diego Simeone wants Luis Suarez to improve on the goalscoring output of Alvaro Morata and be the catalyst that makes Atletico Madrid LaLiga title challengers again following his move from Barcelona.

Suarez completed a €6million switch from Barca on Friday, signing a two-year contract with Atleti following a largely acrimonious Camp Nou departure.

The Uruguayan striker, 33, reached third in Barca's all-time goalscoring charts in his six years at the club and netted 16 in the league last term, a respectable figure given he made just 22 starts and missed a significant portion of the season through injury.

Ronald Koeman revealed in his news conference on Saturday that, while he planned to discard Suarez anyway, the decision to move the former Liverpool star on had already been made before the Dutchman arrived.

But one man's trash is another man's treasure, and Simeone is adamant Suarez's impact at the Wanda Metropolitano could be massive, challenging him to improve on the 12 LaLiga goals scored last season by Morata, who was allowed to leave for Juventus.

"The arrival of Suarez encourages us to continue growing," Simeone told reporters, having also confirmed the striker is in the squad for Atletico's season opener at home to Granada on Sunday.

"He will give us internal competition. He is a forward who has impressive offensive power and hopefully he can continue to produce the numbers that he has been doing in the past.

"These six years [at Barca] have been wonderful [for Suarez]. His colleagues have received him with enthusiasm we hope he adapts as soon as possible.

"We all know him – he's a great reference for the team. Given the option that Alvaro had of being able to leave, the best way to continue improving was to look for someone who could improve on Alvaro's scoring contribution, and when the option of Suarez appeared, what was I going to say? His numbers speak for themselves.

"We were lucky that when we had a very good [Radamel] Falcao, a very good [Diego] Costa or a very good [Antoine] Griezmann, we came close to fighting for everything. Let's hope that with Luis Suarez it will be like that and we can overcome what we did last season."

Atletico finished third in LaLiga last term, 17 points adrift of a Real Madrid side that, while certainly solid, was hardly spectacular as they clinched the title.

Six teams – including Sunday's visitors Granada – scored more than Atletico in 2019-20, but Simeone feels things will be different with Suarez having a point to prove.

"I'm going to be sincere with you, he was convinced that this was the place where he could show that he was a top-notch forward," Simeone added. "I found what I was looking for for this club – ambition and a desire to be here.

"Hopefully he will give us back the options we had when we had the best Falcao, the best Costa or the best Griezmann. That would mean getting closer to the successes that all fans want."

Jorge Molina is set to play on past his 40th birthday in LaLiga after the veteran striker joined Granada from Getafe.

Granada announced on Tuesday they have signed the 38-year-old for the next two seasons.

Molina, who only turned professional at the age of 25 when he joined Poli Ejido, has since played for Elche, Real Betis and Getafe, where he spent the last four years.

He scored five goals in LaLiga in the 2019-20 season, starting 23 games as Getafe finished eighth in the top flight, one place behind Granada.

Granada said on their website that Molina, born in April 1982, has joined on a free transfer in a deal lasting until June 2022, and would be presented on Wednesday.

Jorge Molina has left Getafe after a mutual agreement to terminate his contract and is expected to sign for Granada.

The 38-year-old played 163 times for the club, scoring 52 goals and providing 21 assists.

The striker has reportedly undergone a medical with Granada, who pipped Getafe to a Europa League spot last season.

"We want to thank him for all his professionalism for this club, always showing his dedication in the defence of our colours," Getafe said in a statement.

Molina, Getafe's leading goalscorer this century, helped them to finish fifth in LaLiga in 2018-19, just two points outside the Champions League places.

He scored six goals in all competitions last term as they finished eighth in the top flight and reached the last 16 of the Europa League, missing a penalty in their 2-0 loss to Inter.

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has given Jesus Vallejo the go-ahead to stay at Granada for the 2020-21 season.

The 23-year-old centre-back has struggled to establish himself at the Santiago Bernabeu, making just 12 appearances in LaLiga for Madrid since signing from Real Zaragoza in July 2015.

Loans to Zaragoza, Eintracht Frankfurt, Wolves and, since January, Granada have given the former Spain Under-21 defender additional first-team opportunities.

He made 11 appearances in the Spanish top flight for Granada after agreeing to a short-term stay in January, and now a full season awaits him with Diego Martinez's team.

Granada finished an impressive seventh in 2019-20 following promotion from the Segunda Division in 2018-19.

Zidane has ample options in defence, with Vallejo not in his immediate considerations.

A short statement from Madrid confirmed the loan move, with Vallejo saying on Twitter he was "very happy" to return to Granada.

Madrid's statement read: "Real Madrid CF and Granada CF have agreed to loan the player Jesus Vallejo for next season, until June 30, 2021."

Javier Pastore's injury problems continued as he underwent left hip surgery, Roma announced on Tuesday.

Argentina international Pastore travelled to Barcelona for the procedure and a time frame for his return to action will be determined over the coming days.

The 31-year-old midfielder has made just 32 appearances for Roma since arriving from Paris Saint-Germain for €24.7million in June 2018.

He was blighted by calf problems in his first season at the Stadio Olimpico, while ankle issues limited his involvement in 2019-20 – he played just twice after Serie A resumed following its hiatus amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It was also confirmed on Tuesday that Maxime Gonalons will continue his career at Granada, where he spent last term on loan from Roma.

Gonalons has signed a three-year contract with Granada after they secured Europa League qualification from LaLiga.

Leganes' four-year stay in LaLiga came to an end on Sunday, despite a spirited display against champions Real Madrid, while Getafe miss out on a place in Europe.

Madrid already had the league title wrapped up heading to their city neighbours, but still claimed a point which proved enough to send Leganes down following a 2-2 draw.

Javier Aguirre's Leganes had won three of their previous four outings but, despite twice coming from behind, they failed to claim the win they needed to overtake Celta Vigo, who were held to a goalless draw by relegated Espanyol.

At the other end of Spain's top flight, Granada made a late charge for a place in the Europa League with a 4-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao, who finished 11th.

Granada's triumph meant Getafe, who went down to a 109th-minute goal from Coke against Levante, dropped out of the top seven.

A 4-0 win over Eibar saw Villarreal consolidate their place in fifth, with the Yellow Submarine four points above Granada and Real Sociedad, who snatched a late 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid to be sure of their European qualification.

Real Mallorca have been relegated from LaLiga after a 2-1 home defeat to Europa League-chasing Granada.

Just two wins since the restart left Mallorca – who came up via the Segunda play-offs last season – looking doomed, and defeat on Thursday consigned them to relegation.

Cucho Hernandez had given them a 20th-minute lead with a brilliant solo effort after a counter, but Granada – also promoted last term – levelled on the stroke of half-time through Victor Diaz.

Carlos Fernandez then made it 2-1 with a flicked header past the hour mark, and Mallorca's hopes effectively vanished 10 minutes from time when Aleksandar Sedlar received a straight red card for a poor tackle.

Hernandez was also shown a red card late on, but by that point he had already been substituted.

The final relegation spot will be decided on the last day of the season after Leganes claimed a potentially decisive 2-0 win at Athletic Bilbao, which leaves them just a point behind Celta Vigo.

Celta go to relegated Espanyol on Sunday, while Leganes host champions Real Madrid.

Zinedine Zidane has described Eden Hazard's predicament at Real Madrid as complicated after leaving the Belgium international as an unused substitute during Monday's 2-1 win at Granada.

Early goals from Ferland Mendy and Karim Benzema set up a victory that moved Madrid to within touching distance of LaLiga glory.

Hazard arrived from Chelsea for €100m before the start of the campaign but injury struggles – most notably a broken ankle – have seen him play a minimal part this term.

The 29-year-old has been restricted to 15 league appearances and has only featured for eight minutes since back-to-back starts against Real Mallorca and Espanyol at the end of last month.

After a ninth consecutive victory, Zidane told reporters Hazard's fitness was still not up to scratch.

"A player has to be in very, very, very good shape to play and he's not fully okay," he said.

"The situation is a little bit complicated, but I hope that he can be 100 per cent fit on Thursday and help the team. That's what he wants."

Madrid host Villarreal on Thursday, knowing victory for themselves or anything less than three points for Barcelona will see them crowned champions.

Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane insisted the LaLiga trophy is still not secured after the league leaders took another giant step towards the title.

Madrid are one win away from dethroning two-time defending champions Barcelona following Monday's 2-1 victory at Granada.

Ferland Mendy's first goal for Madrid and Karim Benzema's strike restored Los Blancos' four-point advantage over bitter rivals Barca with two matches remaining.

Madrid can clinch just a second league title in eight seasons at home to Villarreal on Thursday, but Zidane avoided championship talk post-match.

"We had a very good first half, impressive with the ball," Zidane told reporters afterwards.

"The second half wasn't as good but that's because our opponents played.

"To get somewhere in LaLiga, you have to suffer a bit and we came through it was a team.

"We have to be proud of the team. We're got two games left and we haven't won anything yet.

"That's the reality, but there are six points left. When we started the season, we wanted to win LaLiga, but it hasn't arrived just yet."

Madrid raced out to a 2-0 lead after just 16 minutes through Mendy and Benzema, but the visitors were made to work by Granada.

Mendy slammed home a brilliant finish from a tight angle in the 10th minute to become the 21st Madrid player to score in LaLiga this season, while Benzema increased his top-flight tally this term to 19 six minutes later.

Granada's Darwin Machis reduced the deficit five minutes into the second half, however, Madrid survived to close in on the LaLiga crown.

"I shouted because I was happy and because you suffer in football," Zidane, who was heard screaming following the final whistle, added. "It was normal to shout because they were three very important points.

"I shouted to tell my players that they'd have an impressive game. I'm happy for them."

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