Luiz Suarez bid farewell to Barcelona on Thursday, six years after he joined the club and said, while holding back tears, that it was hard for him to say goodbye after being informed that he was not needed at Camp Nou anymore.
The Uruguayan striker will move to Atletico Madrid after Barcelona reached an agreement with the Spanish club for a deal worth six million euros.
During the farewell press conference, an upset Suarez thanked Barcelona for the trust it placed on him when he was signed in 2014. He broke down while talking about his teammates and his time with the club.
“This is very hard for me. It wasn’t expected, I didn’t have anything prepared,” he said.
“They (Barcelona) knew I had come from making that mistake (the biting incident in the 2014 World Cup) and they still wanted to support me and bring me in. It was a dream for me to play at the best club in the world.
“I’ll always be thankful for that. It wasn’t easy to accept that, but the club believed in me. From the time I arrived, my colleagues and everyone in the club treated me wonderfully.
“It’s been many years, I’ve made many friends, that makes me happy,” he said.
“When the club says it doesn’t need you anymore, you have to accept it. But it takes a while, it’s difficult,” he said while trying to compose himself.
“Your family is involved, you’ve gone through a lot with the club. So it’s difficult to accept that you are leaving, but you have to. It’s the reality, it’s how things are in soccer.”
New manager Ronald Koeman had informed Suarez that he had no place in the Dutchman’s plans for the club. However, the 33-year-old striker did not criticise Barcelona or Koeman for how his exit was handled, but added that “a club should accept when a player asks to leave”.
“When Barcelona told me that I wasn’t needed anymore, I received several calls from other clubs. I felt that I was still able to play in a club that could compete against Madrid and Barcelona. I’m going to a very competitive team that can achieve a lot,” he said.
Suarez also highlighted his close friendship with Messi, and said, “In our time together we always tried to perform as well as we could and I can leave here feeling very proud.”
Suarez is Barcelona’s third highest scorer with 198 goals, behind Lionel Messi (634) and Cesar Rodriguez (232). He has won 13 titles with Barcelona since moving from Liverpool in 2014.
Watch the video here: