On Friday, Lionel Messi attacked colleague and good friend Luis Suárez ‘s departure, delivering another blow to the strained alliance between the leadership of Argentina and Barcelona. Messi posted on Instagram a picture of himself with Suárez with a note sharing his sorrow at the departure of his friend and his frustration over how he was moved to Atlético Madrid by the player.
Messi stated, “It’s going to be so odd to see you in another jersey, and much more interesting to have to compete against you.”
You received a sending-off fitting for what you are: one of the most valuable players in the history of the team, not the one they offered you, both for what you achieved for the squad and personally. But it’s real that nothing shocks me at this stage.’
After the 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month, Barcelona agreed to change the roster. Incoming coach Ronald Koeman told the 33-year-old Suárez that he was no longer needed. The team, hard hit financially by the pandemic of the coronavirus, even required to reduce its wage expenses for its players. At an emotional news conference on Thursday, Suárez said goodbye to Barcelona’s supporters. He exits Camp Nou with 198 goals as the club ‘s third highest scorer.
Since arrival in 2014 from Liverpool, the Uruguayan has helped Barcelona capture 13 championships, including four Spanish league trophies and the Champions League in 2015. Over the years, Suárez forged a powerful scoring partnership with Messi, and the two South Americans, along with their relatives, became neighbors and quick mates.
“I embraced the notion (of your departure), but I did not know what it meant until I reached the changing room,” Messi said.
How painful it would be not to share with you, both on and off the ground, every day. We would miss you so much. Many years have passed past for many friends, lunches, meals … I won’t miss a lot of things from all those days together.
For 6 million euros ($7 million), Barcelona sold Suárez to Spanish league competitor Atlético. After the fiasco against Bayern, Messi had wanted to leave the team he had been part of for 20 years, but Barcelona responded that he would end the final year of his deal.
On Thursday, Suárez also took Messi’s side in the fight as he said, ‘I have to consider it if the club agrees that it is time for me to quit, much like though a player wanted to depart, the club should recognize it.’
Messi has already given up attempting to quit this season, though. Even though he is still more disgruntled since Suárez ‘s exit, he has promised to try his best for the squad whilst he remains. The remarks made by Messi are the current run-in between him and the board of the club. In March, Club President Josep Bartomeu called for polls in which he can’t compete again, but he is still facing a vote on censorship that might oust him and his board within the next few weeks.