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Barcelona legend Luis Suarez talks Messi, Koeman, and his departure



Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

There have been several regretful decisions made by Barcelona in the recent past. Be it three €100 million-plus signings, or letting Josep Bartomeu become president, the last five-six years have proved to be extremely turbulent barring an occasional league win. However, it looks like Barça may not have that pleasure this season, like last, as Atletico Madrid seem to be running away with the trophy, ten points clear of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

All this boils down to a change in tactical structure by Diego Simeone, led by none other than Luis Suarez. Barcelona’s third-highest goalscorer of all-time, Suarez joined Atletico in the summer of 2020, and is now leading the La Liga goalscoring charts with 14, and has been steamrolling teams left, right, and centre. Letting Suarez leave to a direct rival may just be one of the worst decisions made by the club.

It is no news that Lionel Messi did not hide his frustration when Suarez was asked to leave the club. The two shared the pitch for six years and formed a bond on and off it. The Uruguayan holds his former colleague in high regard, still, and confirmed that in an interview with El Transistor, saying, “I was surprised to read Messi’s contract in the press. I don’t understand that there are people who have so much evil. What Barcelona is today is thanks to Leo.”

Suarez continued to sing high praises of Messi, saying, “I arrived one day and started to drink mate mate with Messi. We started to create a feeling, we got together with the family. Our wives also started to have a great relationship and that helped to forger out great friendship.”

When asked about his funniest anecdote with Messi, Suarez recalled, “We were on vacation to the islands nearby. Messi and Antonella came to see us. We were in a canoe with the children, swimming towards the shore dragging the canoe. That moment I said to Messi, ‘Imagine that the paparazzi catches us’, and the next day the photos were everywhere. It was amusing.”

“I miss Leo, of course, we were very close, in the games… The nice thing about our relationship is that we keep talking,” Suarez said in continuation.

Suarez’s departure from Barcelona was far from ideal. He was not treated with respect, and asked to leave by Ronald Koeman and Josep Bartomeu. “Koeman called me and told me that he was not going to count on me. I accepted the decision but I told him that I had a contract and the club will have to fix that.”

That said, there is no regret in the mind of the legendary goalscorer, who says that, “I see how Barcelona is doing and gives me some peace of mind. I could have stayed, said they pay me and here I stay. I also trusted my conditions. But I knew that if I performed to the minimum, there would be a bad moment and I would be attacked. I needed a change for pride.”

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