Suarez: I was surprised when Koeman told me I wasn’t wanted at Barcelona
Luis Suarez has commented on his acrimonious departure from Barcelona in the summer, saying many clubs were interested in signing him after it became clear he wasn’t wanted at the Camp Nou.
When the Blaugrana were embarrassingly knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern last season, head coach Quique Setien was sacked and replaced by former player Ronald Koeman.
Koeman was charged with a squad overhaul, and one of the major changes he instigated was informing Suarez that his time at the club was over.
Suarez was subsequently allowed to leave the Camp Nou and sign for La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid for a nominal fee – a decision which has proved to be a poor one as the Uruguayan has fired Los Colchoneros into pole position in the title race.
Speaking to El Transistor, the former Liverpool star reflected on the tough times he had when he was asked to leave Barcelona.
“When Barcelona told me that they did not count on me it was hard, I did not expect it,” Suarez said.
“They were very difficult moments because of the manner [in which it happened]. Koeman called me and told me that I was not in his plans.”
Juventus appeared to be favourites to sign Suarez in the summer, with him even traveling to Italy to complete a citizenship test.
However, when the move to Turin fell through Atletico acted quickly to recruit him, with Suarez saying it wasn’t just those two clubs who were interested.
“When Barcelona made it official that they did not count on me, conversations began with Atleti, with Cholo [Simeone], with Miguel Angel [Gil Marín, Atletico CEO],” he continued.
“There was interest from many clubs, not just Juventus. I wanted to make the right decision, the best for me and my family.”
Suarez enjoyed a hugely successful time at Barcelona, winning four La Liga titles, four Copa del Rey titles, and the Champions League on one occasion.