Luis Suarez has told ESPN’s ’90 Minutos’ on Friday that he believes the real reason he was forced out Barcelona was due to his relationship with all-time great Lionel Messi, who wished to leave this summer.
Being the club’s third-highest scorer ever, whilst also chipping in with an insane 109 assists, clearly wasn’t enough to keep Suarez at the Camp Nou as they underwent a major rebuild this summer.
The embarrassing end to last season saw Suarez become the highest-profile exit at the club, following fellow veteran stars Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakitic.
The 33-year-old joined domestic rivals Atletico Madrid in a deal that could be worth up to €6m in variables, as per Barcelona’s official statement.
Suarez’s thoughts on the reason behind his exit also come at the same time as the star opened up that he was ‘crying’ for days after learning that he’d be forced out of the club.
Here are some of Suarez’s thoughts on the situation:
“There are a lot of contradictions [in Barcelona’s version of events], I would have looked for a solution if it was a financial problem and if it was a sporting issue I could have understood.”
“It is not clear to me why they took the decision they took. I think they wanted to remove me from Messi’s side. Maybe it annoyed them that I had a good relationship with Leo.”
“Perhaps they didn’t want him to be with me so much. I can’t find any reason to think that would damage the team, though.”
“We looked for each other constantly on the pitch, but for the good of the team. Maybe they wanted him to play with more teammates.”
“That could have something to do with it. I can’t find any other reason to want to separate us because we got on well on the pitch.”
Suarez also admitted that Barcelona should’ve ‘respected’ Messi’s decision to leave:
“They should have respected his decision to leave,”
“Leo’s aware of what he means to Barcelona, he’s given things to the club you could never imagine. He must carry on being the No.1, being the best and [being] happy.”
“Maybe there’s the possibility that he plays for another club, but if he feels comfortable and happy and a new board come in, he will want to stay at the club.”
“As a friend, I will be happy if things go well for him there, but also if he has to go to another club.”
Messi’s contract expires next summer and the ace was essentially blocked from leaving on a free this summer as La Liga and Barcelona confirmed he couldn’t do so for less than his astronomical €700m release clause.
Barcelona could find themselves in a tricky spot after failing to replace Suarez in the transfer window.
It’s interesting to see that Suarez has combated the general idea that his departure was a cost-cutting measure by suggesting that he would’ve looked for a ‘solution if it was a financial problem’.