Luis Suarez believes his close relationship with Lionel Messi was the major reason behind Barcelona’s decision to sell him to Atletico Madrid this summer.
Atletico Madrid were able to sign Suarez for just €6m (£5.5m) after Barcelona made it clear to the Uruguayan forward that he had no future at the club.
During his six years at the Nou Camp, Suarez helped Barcelona win four La Liga titles as well as the Champions League in his first campaign.
Suarez also formed a strong bond with Lionel Messi both on and off the pitch and the 33-year-old striker feels his friendship with Barcelona’s superstar ultimately led to his exit away from the club.
‘I think they wanted to remove me from Messi’s side,’ Suarez told ESPN. ‘Maybe it annoyed them that I had a good relationship with Leo. Perhaps they didn’t want him to be with me so much.
‘I can’t find any reason to think that would damage the team, though. ‘We looked for each other constantly on the pitch, but for the good of the team. Maybe they wanted him to play with more teammates.
‘That could have something to do with it. I can’t find any other reason to want to separate us because we got on well on the pitch.’
- Luis Suarez slams Barcelona for “strange things” that angered Lionel Messi
- Bruno Fernandes unhappy with Solskjaer’s decision against Tottenham
Suarez also feels that Barca should have allowed Messi to leave after he pushed for an exit at the end of last campaign.
‘They should have respected his decision to leave,’ said Suarez. ‘Maybe there’s the possibility that he plays for another club, but if he feels comfortable and happy and a new board come in, he will want to stay at the club.
‘As a friend, I will be happy if things go well for him there, but also if he has to go to another club.’