Luis Suarez claims Barcelona forced him away due of his strong relationship with Lionel Messi.

After six great years at the Nou Camp, the Uruguayan striker, 33, joined Atletico Madrid last month in a £5.5 million move.

Barcelona defended his departure as a cost-cutting effort to decrease their payroll bill after suffering a significant financial damage during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Luis Suarez (right) believes his close friendship with Lionel Messi (left) was the real reason Barcelona sold him to Atletico Madrid last month

Luis Suarez claims Barcelona forced him away because of his strong relationship with Lionel Messi.

After six great years at the Nou Camp, the Uruguayan striker, 33, joined Atletico Madrid in a £5.5 million deal last month.

Barcelona defended his departure as a cost-cutting effort to decrease their payroll bill after taking a significant financial impact during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Suarez told ESPN: ‘There are a lot of contradictions [in Barcelona’s version of events].

‘I would have looked for a solution if it was a financial problem and if it was a sporting issue I could have understood. It is not clear to me why they took the decision they took.

Messi was outspoken in his criticism of the club’s handling of Suarez’s departure to Atletico

Suarez joined Atletico Madrid from Barcelona, leading Messi to criticise the decision online

‘I think they wanted to remove me from Messi’s side. Maybe it annoyed them that I had a good relationship with Leo.

‘Perhaps they didn’t want him to be with me so much. I can’t find any reason to think that would damage the team, though.

‘We looked for each other constantly on the pitch, but for the good of the team. Maybe they wanted him to play with more team-mates.

‘That could have something to do with it. I can’t find any other reason to want to separate us because we got on well on the pitch.’

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman told Suarez flatly that he was not needed.

During a difficult summer, Messi sought to push his way out of Barcelona, but eventually caved to avoid a major legal struggle with the club, who questioned the legitimacy of his release clause.

Suarez, however, believes ‘they should have respected his decision to leave.’

It came as the Uruguayan revealed players – including himself – were made to train alone by coach Ronald Koeman if they were not considered for a game.

Suarez also revealed he ‘spent days crying’ after being forced out of the club.

By news24h

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