Suárez says he spent days in tears amid rift with Barcelona
SAO PAULO (AP) - Striker Luis Suárez said Thursday that his former club Barcelona treated him so unfairly that he spent days in tears before leaving for Atlético Madrid.
Another sign that he can still deliver to his teams, Suárez scored Uruguay's first goal in Thursday's 2-1 home win over Chile in the opening round of the South American World Cup qualifiers. The 33-year-old scored two goals on his debut for his new club in Spain on September 27.
The striker said his strong start at Atlético alleviates the pain he felt leaving Barça, where he was on a side that had won 13 titles, including four Spanish league trophies and the Champions League, since arriving from Liverpool in 2014 2015. He is the club's third top scorer of all time with 98 goals.
“I didn't take it very well because they (Barcelona) did it more than anything. You have to accept when your cycle is over, ”Suárez told Uruguayan Football Association television after the win against Chile in Montevideo.
“There were days when I cried about the situation I lived in. Then (I went back) to enjoy myself, to be valued as a player again, to be loved and to feel the care of a club that made me feel wonderfully welcome, ”he added.
Atlético are paying Barcelona up to € 6m in fees for Suárez, who signed a two-year deal with the club.
Suárez was informed of Barcelona's decision to get rid of him through a phone call from new coach Ronald Koeman, who was hired after the team were beaten 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals. The Dutchman denied being solely responsible for Uruguay's departure.
Barça has been hard hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic and also had to cut its spending.
"There are things that are not known," said Suárez. "But to go to Barcelona and be sent to practice separately because you are not one of the 22 players ... My wife was the one who saw me angry with my head down."
Suarez denied having turned down an offer from Juventus to stay in Spain as his family wanted.
"They just wanted to see me happy," he said.
Suárez said he was not surprised at the public defense of Lionel Messi, who attacked Barça's management over his treatment of Uruguay. On September 25, Messi posted a photo of himself with Suarez on Instagram.
"It will be so strange to see you in a different shirt and even stranger to have to play you," wrote Messi. “You deserve a broadcast that fits who you are: one of the most important players in the club's history, both for what you have done for the group and for the individual - not who it has given you to have. But it is true that nothing surprises me at this point. "
Barcelona are in a political crisis that could end with the dismissal of President Josep María Bartomeu, who is seen by many analysts as the main targets of Messi and Suárez in their criticism of the club's leadership.
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