Madrid, Spain | XINHUA | Luis Suarez said ‘goodbye’ to FC Barcelona in an emotional press conference held at the club just hours after confirming his transfer to Atletico Madrid for around six million euros.
The 33-year-old leaves as the third highest scorer in Barcelona’s history with 198 goals, but was not wanted by new Barca coach Ronald Koeman, while the club was also looking to lower its wage bill.
“I never imagined reaching these numbers. At Barca you have to constantly be performing at your best and I am proud to have been here as long as I have,” commented Suarez.
He admitted that he believed in his ability to still contribute to the club, but added that “it was the past,” and he admitted he had “expected” Koeman to say he no longer wanted him, “because it had already been said before.”
“You know what is happening in life and in football and what the press are saying. My departure had been talked about and the coach’s phone call confirmed it,” explained Suarez.
“These are strange moments, and it is difficult to accept, but you have to accept it,” he insisted.
The striker said that joining Atletico Madrid was an “attractive challenge” and that he had spoken to Antoine Griezmann and Uruguay international Diego Godin about the club.
“Atletico are very competitive and ambitious. What I want is for them to continue growing, and I will try to achieve something important,” he concluded.