Luis Suarez’s acrimonious departure from FC Barcelona to Atlético Madrid this past September is eerily reminiscent to what happened with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. While Brady’s move resulted in a surprise Super Bowl victory, it’s looking very possible that Suarez may bring a stunning La Liga title to his new team as well.
It’s a sad, familiar scene we’ve seen many times over the years across various professional sports. An aging superstar becomes increasingly less valuable to a team as father time begins to slowly chip away at his declining skills. Previous accomplishments and accolades aren’t quite forgotten but become brusquely diminished in comparison to looking ahead towards the team’s future. A one-time centerpiece is marginalized and leads to an inevitable breakup between the superstar and the team for whom he brought multiple championships.
A Proven History of Success
In Tom Brady’s case, he led the Patriots to an unprecedented six Super Bowl championships over 20 seasons. As the quarterback, Brady and head coach Bill Belichick were the cornerstones of the team’s success for two decades. Joining the franchise just months apart in 2000, the two were consistently credited for forming what is probably the greatest dynasty in NFL history.
Luis Suarez joined Barcelona in 2014 on one of the most expensive transfers after a history of individual and club successes. With his goal scoring abilities, he made an immediate impact in helping his club win back-to-back La Liga titles. They did it again after a one-year spell during which they came in second place to their main league rival, Real Madrid.
Both of these superstars had the distinction of being a leader as one of their team’s top players during their respective championship runs. Although Suarez had the advantage of having both Lionel Messi and Neymar as teammates during some of those years, it cannot be denied that he was a major contributor and superstar in his own right. Even as part of Barcelona’s attacking trio of Messi, Suarez, and Neymar, nicknamed “MSN,” he earned his second European Golden Boot in 2016 — an award given to the leading goalscorer from the top division of every European national league.