Barça’s star captain Lionel Messi has bid an emotional farewell to Luis Suarez, the day after the Uruguayan striker said his own tearful adiós to FC Barcelona – with the club sending him off to play at Atletico Madrid.
‘Today I went into the dressing room and the awful truth hit me,’ Messi wrote on Instagram, before again criticising the club’s management.
‘You deserved a send-off for what you are: one of the most important players in the history of the club,’ Messi wrote. ‘And not to be fired in the way they did it.’
‘The truth is that at this point nothing surprises me anymore.’
Messi has an on-going battle with Barça president Josep Maria Bartomeu which got worse after Barcelona were thrashed 8-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final in August.
The result confirmed the departure of coach Quique Setién from the club, and the arrival of Ronald Koeman.
Messi tried to leave Barcelona but finally accepted that he would have to see out the final year of his contract. Meanwhile, two of his closest colleagues in the team, Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal, have now left. The 33-year-old Suarez has moved to Atletico on a two-year contract on a free transfer.
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Suarez scored 198 goals for Barça, becoming the third highest goalscorer in the history of the club. He was in tears as he bid farewell to the club on Thursday.
‘I’m going to keep playing, with fresh motivation, with the objective to show I can continue competing,’ he said.
‘Everyone knows the relationship we have, Leo [Messi] and me. I’ve already played against him in the Uruguay-Argentina matches, playing against each other is not going to change the feelings we have for each other,’ Suarez said.
Messi and Suarez were neighbours in Castelldefels, south of Barcelona, and would often arrive at training together.
‘How difficult it is going to be not to continue to share the days with you, both on the pitch and off it,’ wrote Messi in a post accompanied by seven pictures of the two men together, some of them with their families. ‘We are going to miss you very much. It’s been many years … lunches, dinners … many things that I will never forget.’
‘It’s going to be weird to see you with another shirt and much more to face you,’ wrote Messi. ‘But I wish you all the best in this new challenge. I love you very much. See you soon, my friend.’
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