The 34-year-old said that he felt “kicked out” and his sentiments were echoed by club captain Lionel Messi, who himself tried to leave Barcelona last summer after growing discontent with the way the club was being run. It is believed that the treatment of Suarez was one of the major factors behind Messi’s anger.
Suarez, who is the second-highest goalscorer in Barcelona’s history, scored 195 goals in the span of six years. However, last summer he was told that he was no longer considered to be capable of playing in the level required to be in Barcelona’s top flight squad.
“What really annoyed me was being told that I was old and that I couldn’t play at the top level anymore, that I couldn’t play at the level of a big team. That’s what upset me. Barcelona kicked me out, they told me they didn’t have me in their plans anymore,” he told France Football, as quoted by Marca.
Suarez says that he deserved more respect than he was given, and not many are inclined to disagree. However, for some reason, the higher ups at the Catalan club had other ideas.
The Uruguay international mentioned his impressive scoring record, including the 21 goals he scored in his final season with the team.
“If I hadn’t shown anything at Barcelona for three or four seasons I would have understood. But I have scored more than 20 goals every season. I’ve always had good statistics, only behind [Lionel] Messi. I reached a certain level at Barcelona for six years and did what was expected of me,” he argued.
Ronald Koeman, who was hired as Barcelona’s new coach earlier in 2020, is seen as a key player in what transpired. He reportedly told Suarez that he no longer figured in his plans for the future.
Because of this, Suarez knew that he should find a place where he is wanted. He found a new home with Atletico Madrid, who are ironically leading La Liga this season. Barcelona fans are outraged that the club gave away one of their deadliest scorers to one of their strongest league rivals.
He has so far scored 16 goals this season, and is ready for more. He says that it was difficult to relocate his family, but seeing him happy with his new club has allowed them to adjust well in the capital.
With Atletico leading the league table, Barcelona fans are up in arms about what could have been.