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Luis Suarez claims Barcelona wanted him away from Messi

Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final
Barcelona v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Quarter Final
Varun Totadri
Modified 10 Oct 2020, 17:41 IST

Luis Suarez has claimed that Barcelona forced him out of the club because of his close relationship with Lionel Messi in an interview with ESPN.

Luis Suarez joined Atletico Madrid from Barcelona this summer, after being told by new manager Ronald Koeman that he is not a part of the Dutchman's plans for the club.

The Uruguayan striker was one of a number of big-name departures from Barcelona this summer as the club looked to sell fringe players and ageing players, in an attempt to bring down their wage bill. Luis Suarez is Barcelona's third all-time top scorer with 198 goals during his six years at Camp Nou.

During his interview with ESPN, Suarez was quoted saying, "There are a lot of contradictions. 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," said Suarez.
"We constantly looked out for each other 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," added Suarez.

Luis Suarez gives his honest opinion on Lionel Messi's situation at Barcelona

Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Real Sociedad v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi was left fuming at the way the club parted ways with Suarez and took to social media to criticize the club hierarchy and show support for his friend. Messi was close to leaving Barcelona this summer as well, but could not find a way past his €700 million release clause.

When asked about Messi, Suarez said, "They should have respected his decision to leave. Leo's aware of what he means to Barcelona and 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 I will also be happy if he has to go to another club."

Suarez went onto to explain his emotions about the way he was kicked out of Barcelona.

"It really hurt me and my family. The way they did it, it wasn't right. The coach comes in and says he doesn't count on me and the board already said there were going to be big changes," Suarez revealed.
"Koeman called me to tell me that I wasn't in his plans, but I'd known what was coming for 10 days. He just confirmed what I'd seen in the media. I always said the club needed a young striker, but they never brought anyone in to compete with me. For years, they've wanted to bring in more forwards because they wanted to kick me out," said Suarez.

Suarez has gotten off to a terrific start at Atletico Madrid, scoring two goals and proving an assist on his debut for the club. The signing of Suarez and his potential partnership with Diego Costa and Joao Felix can make Atletico Madrid potential title contenders this season.

Published 10 Oct 2020, 17:41 IST
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