Messi didn’t hold back about Suarez’s exit from Barcelona



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Lionel Messi has passed on his best wishes to Luis Suarez and taken aim at Barcelona for pushing out ‘one of the most important players in the club’s history’.

New head coach Ronald Koeman made it clear Suarez was not in his plans for the 2020/21 campaign and the 33-year-old striker joins Atletico Madrid on a free transfer after Barcelona agreed to terminate his contract a year early.

Suarez scored 198 goals in 283 matches for the Catalan giants, helping the club win the Champions League, four La Liga titles, four Spanish Cups and two Spanish Super Cups across a glittering six-year spell at the Camp Nou.

But Barca were keen to remove Suarez’s sizeable wages from the books and the Uruguayan will no doubt be out for revenge when Atleti play host to Koeman’s men in November.

Messi – who was himself involved in a bitter dispute with Barca over his future this summer – pulled no punches as he broke his silence over Suarez’s exit in an Instagram post on Friday morning.

The Argentine’s falling out with president Josep Maria Bartomeu has been well-documented over the last few months and it’s clear he is less than impressed with the way the club have handled Suarez’s difficult departure.

‘It has been many years, many friends, lunches, dinners… many things that will never be forgotten, every day together.

‘It will be strange to see you with another shirt and even more to face you.

‘You deserve to leave like the man you are: one of the most important players in the club’s history, achieving important things both as a group and individually. And not to get kicked out like they did to you. ‘But the truth is that at this point nothing surprises me.

‘I wish you all the best in this new challenge. I love you very much, I love you very much. See you soon friend.’

Suarez made sure to aim a parting shot at Barca and club president Bartomeu during a his tearful farewell press conference on Thursday.

Bartomeu attempted to stand in the way of Suarez joining Atletico Madrid – and instead hoped the forward would move to Juventus, who registered a strong interest before pulling the plug on a potential deal due to passport issues.

Asked whether he could blame himself for the situation which led to his exit from Barcelona, Suarez replied, ‘me or…’, before nodding in the direction of Bartomeu, who sat awkwardly beside him on the stage.

Suarez continued: ‘We have to be self-critical in the Champions League.

‘I have played with discomfort, with injuries but I do not blame myself for anything. I am proud. ‘It’s hard to accept leaving. But it’s reality and these things happen in football.’

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