Suarez explains Atletico move as he reveals Koeman role in Barca exit
Luis Suarez says he had “no doubts” about making a move to Atletico Madrid once it became clear his time at Barcelona was up.
The 33-year-old sealed his switch across Spain this week, after a trophy-laden spell at Barcelona littered with goals.
The Uruguayan won – among other silverware – four LaLiga titles while also becoming the club’s third-highest goalscorer.
Speaking in a news conference to explain his latest career move, Suarez insisted he still has a lot to offer in the Spanish top flight.
“I feel I’m capable of continuing to compete in this league,” he told reporters (via BBC Sport).
“When Barca told me they weren’t counting on me, there were many calls, many offers, but I was able to go to a team that can compete as equals with two great teams like Barcelona and Real Madrid. I had no doubts.”
Suarez scored 198 goals in 283 games for Barcelona, while also assisting 109 other strikes.
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He also confirmed reports that new Barca head coach Ronald Koeman played a part in his Camp Nou exit.
“I leave with the feeling that I have fulfilled expectations,” Suarez added.
“I expected it because it had been said already before the coach told me but I can accept it.
“Players sometimes need a change, the club needed a change and this case the coach didn’t want me.”
Suarez denies ‘annoying’ Messi reports
Meanwhile, Suarez was quick to brush off claims from Spain that his relationship with Lionel Messi played a part in his move away.
Reports suggested Koeman had decided the pair’s strike force was no longer beneficial to the team.
“It’s been a crazy month. Things have been invented, things that are not true that have been leaked and that annoy you but we have to try to stay away from all that,” Suarez said.
“Everyone knows the relationship I have with Leo. When you arrive at Barcelona they say to be careful with Leo and now after many years, Leo and I get along spectacularly and they say you are bad for him.
“We know the time we had in the team and that we tried to perform at our best and live up to what Barcelona is and in my case, I can leave feeling proud.”
Atletico could follow up Suarez’s arrival with the signing of Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira.
However, the latest speculation claims doubts have emerged about that move.