Lionel Messi has lambasted Barcelona officials once again.
Exactly two weeks after the world’s greatest player reluctantly announced that he would remain with the only professional club he’s ever known — accusing Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu of lying to him in the process — for the final year of his contract, Messi ripped his employers for their handing of fellow attacker and close friend Luis Suárez, who left for Spanish rival Atletico Madrid this week.
Suárez scored 147 goals in 191 league games for Barcelona after arriving from English Premier League club Liverpool in 2014, helping the Blaugrana to four La Liga titles, four Spanish Cups and one UEFA Champions League crown over six years. The Uruguayan had another 12 months remaining on his contract but was effectively forced out of the Nou Camp after being informed that he was not in new manager Ronald Koeman’s plans.
Messi took to Instagram to pay tribute to Suárez and to voice his view that Barca’s treatment of his fellow South American was disrespectful.
Ya me venía haciendo la idea pero hoy entré al vestuario y me cayó la ficha de verdad. Que difícil va a ser no seguir compartiendo el día a día con vos, tanto en las canchas como afuera. Los vamos a extrañar muchísimo. Fueron muchos años, muchos mates, comidas, cenas... Muchas cosas que nunca se van a olvidar, todos los días juntos. Va a ser raro verte con otra camiseta y mucho más enfrentarte. Te merecías que te despidan como lo que sos: uno de los jugadores más importantes de la historia del club, consiguiendo cosas importantes tanto en lo grupal como individualmente. Y no que te echen como lo hicieron. Pero la verdad que a esta altura ya no me sorprende nada. Te deseo todo lo mejor en este nuevo desafío. Te quiero mucho, los quiero mucho. Hasta pronto, amigo.
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“How difficult it is going to be not to continue sharing the day to day with you, both on the field and off. It will be odd to see you in another shirt and much stranger to play against you,” Messi wrote in Spanish.
“You deserved to leave as what you are: one of the most important players in the club’s history, achieving important things both as a group and individually. Not to get kicked out by them like they did. But the truth is that at this point, nothing surprises me.”
Messi concluded the post by wishing Suárez good luck in Madrid. “I love you very much. See you soon friend.”
Suárez was officially presented as a Atletico player hours after Messi’s post. Later on Friday, he participated in his first training session with Diego Simeone’s team:
— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) September 25, 2020
Suárez is expected to be available to play in his new club’s 2020-21 season opener on Sunday against Granada. Barcelona and Atletico are scheduled to meet in Madrid on Nov. 22.
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