Ronald Koeman is surely eating his words after suggesting Suarez was not good enough for his team. Barcelona are now clearly missing ex-talisman Luis Suarez.
One of the worst and most bemusing transfer stories for me in a long long time was Barcelona’s decision to let Luis Suarez leave and join La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.
Despite having just one more year left on his contract at the end of the 2019/2020 season, Luis Suarez was told by the then new manager, Ronald Koeman, that he was not in his plans at Barcelona and that he should look for a new club.
After a successful four years at Barcelona where he picked up two La Liga titles, four Copa del Reys, the Champions League, the Club World Cup and the European Super Cup, his time at the club came to a much quicker end than he initially thought.
Suarez was bidding Barcelona and his teammate goodbye after Koeman allowed his transfer to take place for £5.5million.
Reports at the time from Skysports.com heard how Suarez felt he was still able to play and give his all in La Liga, where he stated: “I feel I’m capable of continuing to compete in this league. When Barca told me they weren’t counting on me, there were many calls, many offers, but I was able to go to a team that can compete as equals with two great teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid. I had no doubts.”
At the time of his departure, it was said that he was seen leaving in tears when he said goodbye to his teammates after his transfer to Atleti was complete. Although, this was close to not happening as skysports.com also reported that he came close to joining Italian champions Juventus. However, a delay in getting Italian citizenship meant the deal was struck off before even being signed as Juventus could not buy Suarez without him having an Italian passport, as they had already reached their quota for non-EU players in their team.
During his time at Barcelona, Suarez had striked up an amazing partnership with Lionel Messi, their understanding of the game and of each other was like no other partnership in the footballing world, not for a long time.
And, after his departure, Messi himself criticised Barcelona and said that his teammate should not have been ‘pushed out’. He took to his social media page to be vocal about this where it is said that he wrote: “You deserved a fitting farewell for the person that you are: one of the best players in the club’s history, having achieved incredible things both individually and collectively. You didn’t deserve to be pushed out the way they did, but the truth is nothing surprises me any more.”
For me, there will always be question marks on this transfer. For a player that had given a club so much over a short space of time, who had amazing partnerships with his teammates and who was loved all around, to then be sold for a meagre transfer fee and for it to be allowed to happen just shows that there really is no loyalty in the world of football anymore.
Who knows now, I bet Barca wish they had kept him on for another year at least, especially if they fall just short of winning what would be their third title in four years!