Luis Suarez says goodbye to Barcelona Teammates in press conference
Luis Suarez on Thursday said an emotional goodbye to his Barcelona team-mates in a press conference.
The 33-year-old, who leaves Camp Nou as Barça’s third highest goalscorer in the club’s history, was confirmed as an Atletico Madrid player on Wednesday night.
Suarez was filmed in tears as he drove away from Barcelona’s training ground hours earlier.
His six-year spell with the Catalan giants was brought to an abrupt and unexpected end by recently appointed head coach Ronald Koeman.
Koeman decided that Suarez was surplus to requirements at Camp Nou.
The Uruguayan striker scored 21 goals in 36 games last season but there were occasions when he looked a little sluggish and out of sorts.
However, that has not deterred Atletico boss Diego Simeone from bringing Suarez to the Wanda Metropolitano.
Together they will be determined to prove that Barça have made a big mistake.
As a thank you for everything he’s done for the club, Barcelona allowed Suarez to say a proper goodbye in a special press conference.
The likes of Jordi Alba, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and, of course, Lionel Messi were all in attendance.
Needless to say, it was emotional.
At one point, Suarez struggled to get his words out as he failed to hold back the tears.
Poor guy. You have to feel for him. This isn’t the way he wanted his Barcelona adventure to end, forced out of the club.
“It is such a surprise, I didn’t have anything really prepared,” Suarez was quoted as saying by The Daily Mail. “The club has always had so much confidence in me since 2014 when they signed me.
“The club trusted me knowing the conditions that came after the mistake I made.
“The conditions that I came here, they surrounded me, the confidence they had in me, it wasn’t easy to accept this, the coaches and the team-mates, the way they accepted me when I came, it was amazing.
“All the people know the sacrifice that I made in these years to come to Barcelona and play for the best team in the world. I am aware we are at the end of an era but I should be very proud of everything we have done.”
Suarez admitted he hasn’t had time to fully ‘digest’ the news of his move to Atletico yet.
He continued: “The club needed changes and the coach didn’t count on me. I want to show that I can still perform at a high level.
“I’m joining Atletico Madrid with a lot of excitement, but I still haven’t thought about what it will be like to play against Barcelona. I haven’t fully digested it yet.”
The South American also hinted that his close friend Messi isn’t too happy with his departure.
“Leo knows what I think and I know what he thinks. We are old enough to give each other advice. Leo felt strange because I’m going to a direct rival, but nothing will change our relationship.”
Finally, Suarez revealed that he had many potential suitors, but he chose to join Atletico because he believes his new employers can challenge for the biggest honours.
He said: “It sounds ironic … but when Barça put me on the market there were many calls, many offers. I wanted a team where I could compete with Barcelona and Real Madrid.”