Luis Suarez reveals he was furious at Barcelona’s lack of ‘respect’ in telling him he was ‘TOO OLD and could no longer play at a high level’ – with 34-year-old now embarrassing them by scoring for fun at Atletico Madrid
- Luis Suarez has opened up on what he was told by Barcelona before being sold
- The Uruguayan was left bemused by the manner of his exit from the Nou Camp
- He claims he was told he was ‘old’ and he ‘could no longer play at a high level’
- Suarez left to join Atletico Madrid and has scored freely in the Spanish capital
Luis Suarez felt he ‘deserved more respect’ from Barcelona last summer and has revealed more details into the conversations with club chiefs that left him angry at their reasoning for forcing him out.
Ronald Koeman succeeded Quique Setien and, backed by former president Josep Maria Bartomeu, made it clear to Suarez that he would not be part of his plans going forward.
Suarez, who is now LaLiga’s top scorer this season with Atletico Madrid, claims Barcelona told him he was too old ‘to play at the highest level’ despite the 34-year-old making a mockery of such a suggestion since winding up in Spain’s capital.
Luis Suarez hit back at Barcelona’s claims he was ‘too old to play at the highest level’ still
Suarez has punished Barcelona’s decision to let him go as he is top scorer with Atletico Madrid
‘What really bothered me was when they told me that I was old and that I could no longer play at a high level, be up to [the task of fronting] a great team,’ Suarez told France Football. ‘That’s what I did not like.’
He added: ‘If I hadn’t done anything at a club like Barca for three or four seasons, I would have understood. But, every year at Barca, I scored more than 20 goals per season. I have always had good statistics, just behind Leo (Messi).
‘Today, we can see that it is not easy to play at Barca… A lot of players who signed there did not have the level that was expected of them. Me, I played for six years at Barca maintaining a certain level and living up to what was expected of me.’
Some observers suggested Suarez was finished after Barcelona let him leave for just £5.5m
Messi, a close friend of Suarez, called the Uruguayan’s exit ‘crazy’ and Suarez has shown it was a hasty decision as, along with Messi, he stands top of the scoring charts with 16.
Atletico are LaLiga leaders and since Suarez’s departure Barcelona have found life tough domestically and in Europe.
‘At Barca, circumstances have changed, the club needed changes,’ he added.
‘And I accepted it. The only thing that bothered me was the way [it happened]. I think I deserved some respect.’
Suarez surpassed 20 goals in every season he spent at Barcelona with his best campaign coming in 2015-16, when he scored a stunning 59 goals across all competitions.
Suarez (left) joined Atletico Madrid in the summer after he was allowed to leave Barcelona
The 34-year-old’s goal return saw him score 36 in 2016-17 and 31 in 2017-18. In his final two seasons there he netted 23 and 21 goals respectively.
Suarez’s glittering career at the Nou Camp – which saw him win a Champions League and four LaLiga titles – came to an unceremonious end last summer.
Picked up by Atletico in a deal eventually worth £5.5million, many observers suggested Suarez was on his way out of the game with his goal return declining year-on-year.
But he has continued to show his critics he remains at the peak of his powers as he looks to guide Atletico to a famous LaLiga and Champions League double.
Suarez will be the centre of attention on Tuesday in Bucharest when Atletico face Chelsea in the first-leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
The Uruguayan striker ended his Barcelona career as the club’s third-highest goalscorer of all time, netting 198 goals in 283 appearances for the Catalans.