Source: China State Council Information Office
Luis Suarez has revealed he did not think twice about joining Atletico Madrid after being told by new Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman that he was no longer required at the club.
The 33-year-old opened up about his September departure from the Camp Nou after scoring from the penalty spot to help Uruguay beat Chile 2-1 in their opening 2022 World Cup qualifier on Thursday.
“I did not take Barcelona’s message about needing a change of air very well,” Suarez said. “More than anything, because of the way it was handled, because you have to recognize when a cycle is over.
“What my family wanted was to see me happy. There are things that are not known, but at Barcelona they send you away to train separately… My wife was the one who saw that I was down and let me take the opportunity. When Atletico came looking for me, I didn’t hesitate for a moment.”
Suarez’s exit after six seasons and 198 goals with the Blaugrana prompted his teammate and close friend Lionel Messi to publicly criticize the club as he bid an emotional farewell on social media.
“I wasn’t surprised by what Messi did because I know him well,” Suarez said. “He knew the pain I was feeling. The way it was handled, as if I was being thrown out, is what hurts most. There were other ways to do it. They were six years and that’s what bothered him [Messi] too. I see him as a friend and he knows how we suffered.”