Luis Suarez has hit out at his former team Barcelona for the manner of his exit this summer – a move which angered Lionel Messi.
Suarez was forced to leave Barca even though he still had one year left on his contract at the Nou Camp where he had scored 198 goals in 283 matches across six seasons.
Only Messi and Cesar, an icon of the 1940s and 50s, have scored more goals for the club, but Suarez, 33, was ushered out of the door in a fairly brisk fashion after the appointment of Ronald Koeman as head coach this summer.
The Uruguayan forward joined Atletico Madrid on a two-year deal for a nominal fee, and has begun his career at the club by scoring two goals in his first three matches.
Messi, who had attempted to leave the club himself during the close campaign, was left deeply angered by the treatment of his friend, and Suarez has revealed why he was upset.
“I was not surprised about Messi because I know him too well, I knew the pain he felt, as I did,” he told reporters after scoring a penalty in Uruguay’s 2-1 win over Chile in a World Cup qualifier on Thursday.
“He felt they kicked me out of the club because of the forms. There were other ways to do things correctly with me. They were six long years and that bothered him too. I see him as a friend and he knows how badly we suffered.
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“My family wanted to see me happy. There are some strange things at Barcelona like sending you to train separately because you were not considered for the game.
“Those kinds of things made me (feel) bad and my family saw me affected, so they encouraged me to take the opportunity. When Atletico came looking for me, I didn’t hesitate for a single moment.
“Obviously I have to get used to various things, but I feel very happy at Atletico.”