Luis Suarez has picked up from where he left off last season.
The world-class Uruguayan forward scored a remarkable 59 goals for Barcelona during the 2015-16 campaign - and he already has three to his name this term following a superb hat-trick in Saturday’s 6-2 victory over Real Betis at the Camp Nou.
Suarez is a defender’s worst nightmare - always alert and ready to capitalise on any mistakes, he never tires, while intimidation tactics never have any effect - but he admits there is one team that he doesn’t enjoy playing against.
SIGN UP NOW
Article continues below
There’s no prize for correctly guessing that Suarez was referring to Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.
Suarez claims that ‘nothing thrills him less’ than playing against the Colchoneros. Moreover, he hates going head-to-head with his brilliant compatriot Diego Godin - although he admits he always gives as good as he gets.
Article continues below
Suarez: Atletico are so annoying
"I'll tell you that there's nothing that thrills me less than playing against Atlético,” Suarez was quoted as telling Spanish broadsheet El Pais by Yahoo Sport. “They're so annoying. There's Godin, who is a nuisance, he's always there next to me. He annoys me a lot, but I do that to him too."
Atleti knocked Barça out of Europe last season
Atletico knocked Barça out of the Champions League last season, despite Suarez scoring twice in a 2-1 victory for the Catalan giants at the Camp Nou.
Fernando Torres’ away goal proved valuable, as Antoine Griezmann killed the tie off in the second leg with a goal either side of half-time.
Prior to their previous meeting, however, Barcelona’s record against Atleti in recent seasons is excellent.
The last time Atletico beat the reigning Spanish champions in La Liga was back in April 2014.
Since then Barcelona have won the last four league meetings, with Suarez scoring in two of those matches.
Barcelona v Atletico next month
It’s just under a month before the two Spanish heavyweights meet again.
Atletico travel to the Camp Nou on September 21 - but Simeone’s men already have a gap to close following Sunday night’s surprise 1-1 draw against promoted Alaves at the Vicente Calderon.
Summer signing Kevin Gameiro appeared to have won the match for the hosts with a 93rd-minute penalty, but a long-range strike from Manu Garcia secured a shock point for the visitors.
Antoine Griezmann was rested for Atletico’s opener but will surely return for the team’s second league fixture against another promoted side, Leganes, this weekend.
Will Atletico Madrid win La Liga this season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.