OVERVIEW OF: Suarez: Barca Told Me I Was Old, Can’t Play At High Level Anymore
Luis Suarez has revealed more details into the conversations with Barcelona club chiefs that left him angry at their reasoning for forcing him out.
Dutch coach 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 joining 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.”
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 has 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.
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.