Luis Suarez was one of the greatest Barcelona strikers thus it was quite shocking when the first thing Ronald Koeman did once he was appointed, was telling the Uruguayan that his services were no longer required. Definitely hurt by the gesture of the club, the super striker joined one of their arch-rivals, Atletico Madrid. Now Suarez has finally decided to reveal what was told to him by the Catalan club before he was let go of.
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Suarez is at the moment 34 years old and that was apparently one of the main reasons as to why he was asked to leave. In an interview with France Football, the striker revealed that he was deemed too old to be playing at the top level. He was not the only one that the Catalan Kings let go of, players such as Arturo Vidal and Ivan Rakatic were also released due to their age.
Koeman has a vision of a younger and more passionate Barcelona which he believes can only be achieved by the youth. Thus he wanted to get rid of all the older blood and bring in some new faces.
He of course had to keep Lionel Messi, and Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets also survived the exodus. However, the way Suarez was treated, was disrespectful in his opinion as he always gave the club a 20 plus goal season. He said,
“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. That’s what I did not like.”
“At Barca, circumstances have changed, the club needed changes. And I accepted it. The only thing that bothered me was the way [it happened]. I think I deserved some respect.”
While it is true that he has scored over 20 goals every season, he was on the decline for Barcelona and only scored 23 and 21 goals in his last two seasons, in all competitions. However, his service to the club was phenomenal and without him, the club are struggling.
Meanwhile, Suarez is enjoying life in Madrid. He has already scored 16 goals in the league and they are leading the pack in La Liga. The striker admitted that going to Atletico was a choice he had to make after being disrespected at Barcelona and he is enjoying the competitive side.
Was Barca wrong in letting Suarez leave without a replacement?