‘Barcelona would use me to try to convince Messi to stay’ – Suarez
In perhaps the strangest transfer decision of last summer, Barcelona sold Luis Suarez to title rivals Atletico Madrid for a mere £5.5 million in a desperate bid to lower their wage bill.
This came despite scoring 16 goals in La Liga the previous season, and it’s fair to say that the Blaugrana will be regretful that they let such a talented forward join a rival for so little.
It will hurt even more so considering Suarez’s 21 league goals helped fire Atletico to a first La Liga title since 2014, while Barcelona fell short and finished third.
After joining the club from Liverpool after the 2014 World Cup, Suarez became a fan favourite at the Camp Nou, scoring 198 goals in 283 appearances for the club, while forming a formidable front three with Lionel Messi and Neymar.
However, he has revealed that when he was sold, he wasn’t treated like a favourite whatsoever. In an interview with El Partidazo de COPE, Suarez explained the situation around his sale.
“Koeman, after saying that he didn’t count on me, then told me ‘if tomorrow your situation isn’t solved, I will count on you for the game against Villarreal.’ I saw that he had no personality,” he said.
He then added: “Bartomeu or any board member at Barça did not call me, but I was going to send them a small picture [with the league trophy]…”
When asked who treated him badly at Barca, Suarez revealed it was “first, President Bartomeu who said everything in the press instead of calling me in person to tell me they did not want me, why did they not say that in person?
“They would use me to try to convince Leo [Messi] to stay. But, then, they wouldn’t talk to me directly when it was about me.”
Suarez’s form for Atletico
As mentioned earlier, Suarez has netted 21 league goals for Atletico this season, and crucially, 11 of these were the decisive goals, with a further two equalisers. Suarez wasn’t scoring while Atleti were already winning, he was the reason they won.
In fact, those 11 decisive goals were the most in the entire division, with Karim Benzema and Youssef En-Nesyri second on nine each.
He was the most important factor in Atletico winning the league, and if he’d have been treated better, he could’ve done the exact same thing for Barcelona.