While preparing for the Conmebol World Cup Qualifiers with his National Team, Luis Suarez spoke to ESPN Argentina. The Uruguayan explained why he believes the club decided to off-load him, linking it to the great relationship he had with Lionel Messi.
“I think they wanted to get me away from Messi’s side. Maybe it bothered them because I have a good relationship with Leo.. Maybe they did not want him to be with me so often. But I can’t find any reason for them to think that it was hurting the team.”, said the 33-year-old.
Despite the fact that Culés wanted to replace the Uruguayan striker due to his poor performances in his latest seasons at the Catalan club, Suarez revealed that he was already on the same page — the club just never listened:
“In the six years I have been at Barcelona, I always said that the club needed a young forward. They never brought anyone who could compete with me. I deserved to be called and explained the reasons for my departure before I found out from the press that they didn’t want me.
“There are many issues in Barcelona. I provided solutions if the issue was economic, and if it was sports, I could understand it. The reasoning of the board was not clear to me.”, Suarez explained.
Suarez shared the dressing room with Messi for 6 years, and told that he is obviously missing the good old days:
“Obviously, I miss Leo, but thanks to technology, we are constantly talking. We are aware of our friendship. We share many things; from arriving at training in the morning to the dunks. Our children were friends, and we have great family bonds.”, he added.
Barcelona fans were aware of the fact that Suarez was simply not good enough to start for the Catalan club — linking it to the player’s age — but to sell a 33-year-old without proper explanation nor farewell, especially when the player is the club’s third top goal scorer in history, is absurd.
Source: ESPN Argentina
Official: Barcelona starting lineup to face Elche — Koeman makes five changes
Barcelona will be hoping to get back to winning ways as they host Elche at the Camp Nou for the rescheduled round one fixture. Ronald Koeman has heavily rotated his team for this encounter, making five changes to the team that took on Cadiz on the weekend.
The first of these changes comes in the heart of the defence, with Samuel Umtiti coming in to replace Clement Lenglet, starting alongside Gerard Pique. Oscar Mingueza gets a start as well, but it is at right-back instead of Sergino Dest. Jordi Alba retains his spot at the left-back position, while Marc-Andre Ter Stegen holding the gloves.
Sergio Busquets had a fairly decent game against Cadiz, but sees himself on the bench with Miralem Pjanic starting as the anchor. Beside him, Frenkie De Jong and Pedri will be acting as interiors as they have so often this season.
There are two changes in the attack as well, with Fransisco Trincao getting a well-deserved start on the right-wing, replacing Ousmane Dembele. Antoine Griezmann starts on the bench, as well, and has been replaced by Martin Braithwaite. Lionel Messi will spearhead the team hoping to keep his goal-scoring run alive.
Confirmed XI: ter Stegen; Mingueza, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; de Jong, Pjanic, Pedri; Trincao, Messi, Braithwaite
Koeman seems to have played all his cards all at once for this game, replacing every other player on the pitch. While Mingueza truly deserved a place in the XI today, it should have been at centre-half instead of Umtiti, who put in a heart-wrenching display against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey no more than two weeks back.