Luis Suarez was pictured with tears in his eyes after bidding farewell to his Barcelona teammates for the last time ahead of his move to La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.
The Uruguayan was a huge success at Camp Nou after joining from Liverpool in 2014. He helped them win the 2015 Champions League, four La Liga titles and four Copa Del Reys.
Suarez was was prolific, climbing to third place in the Spanish giants’ all-time scorer list.
But the 33-year-old’s time is now up as a reeling Barcelona make sweeping changes. And a €4 million (£3.6m) has been agreed with Atletico Madrid.
Barca chairman, Josep Maria Bartomeu, had originally blocked the deal. He didn’t want Suarez to go to an immediate La Liga rival.
Juventus had originally been favourites to sign him. But the Serie A champions got cold feet when Suarez was unable to obtain an Italian passport.
Suarez was angry that his move to Atletico seemed set to be scuppered. And he even threatened to hold a press conference with his lawyers if the deal didn’t go through.
However, despite such action being unnecessary after an agreement was reached on Tuesday evening, the frontman couldn’t hide his feelings about leaving.
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Suarez said his goodbyes at Barcelona’s training ground on Wednesday. And reporters captured him with tears in his eyes as he drove away.
He’s been a hugely popular member of the Barcelona dressing room and developed a great friendship with Lionel Messi.
Morata moves to Juventus instead
With Suarez arriving at Atletico, that means an exit for Alvaro Morata.
Indeed, he, rather than Suarez, will now end up at Juventus, having returned there on loan with a reported €45m option to buy until June 2021.
Suarez’s proposed move to Juventus fell though last week after he travelled to Perugia to take a B1 Italian exam. That’s required to obtain an Italian passport.
But stories emerged of foul play and Italian authorities claimed that Suarez had pre-agreed parts of his exam.
Juventus wanted Suarez to have an Italian passport so he could be classed as an EU member of the squad. They’d already filled their quota of non-EU players.