Luis Suarez says he cried over the way he was treated by Barcelona before leaving for Atletico Madrid.
The Uruguay forward ended a six-year spell at Barca in September and says he was stopped from training with the first team before his departure. “Those days were very difficult. I cried because of what I was having to go through,” said Suarez, 33. “I was hurt most of all by the way they did things, because one has to accept it when a cycle comes to an end.” Suarez joined Barcelona from Liverpool for £74m in 2014 and became the Spanish giants’ third all-time top scorer with 198 goals, winning four La Liga titles, four domestic cups and the 2015 Champions League in the process. He netted 21 goals in 2019-20 – his lowest tally during the six years – and, after not being involved in Barca’s pre-season matches, he left with one-year remaining on his contract. Atletico paid a nominal fee of no more than 6m euros for Suarez. “I didn’t take the club’s message that they were looking for a solution for me in order to mix things up very well,” added Suarez, who has two goals in three games for Atletico. “Not everyone knows what happened but the worst thing was going to training and being sent to a different group from everyone else because I was not allowed to play in practice matches. “My wife could see how unhappy I was and she wanted to see me smile again and when the chance came to join Atletico I had no doubts.” Barcelona’s record scorer Lionel Messi posted a message of support for Suarez on social media, saying he had been “kicked out”. “I wasn’t surprised that Messi supported me publicly because I know him too well,” said Suarez. “He knew the pain I was going through, the feeling that I was being kicked out was what hurt me the most. “The way they did things was not right and Leo knows how me and my family suffered.”