Luis Suarez lays into Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman after La Liga win with Atletico Madrid
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Luis Suarez has opened up on his departure from Barcelona after helping Atletico Madrid win La Liga. Suarez has been a revelation for Atleti since being forced out of Barca last summer amid reports that manager Ronald Koeman doubted his ability.
The 34-year-old striker scored 21 goals and recorded three assists in 32 La Liga appearances in the 2020/21 campaign, helping fire Diego Simeone’s side to their first title in seven years.
Only Barcelona star Lionel Messi (30), Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema (23) and Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno (23) managed more goals than the experienced Uruguayan, who has proven to be the perfect fit for Atletico.
Atletico signed Suarez on a free transfer last summer after reports suggested that Barca – and in particular Koeman – had doubts about his age and high wages.
The decision not to sign the former Liverpool striker up to a new contract has backfired spectacularly, with Barca finishing in third, seven points adrift of Simeone’s side.
Now, having enjoyed a brilliant first season at his new club, Suarez has openly criticised Koeman and former club president Josep Bartomeu for their roles in his departure from Barca.
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“No-one congratulated me, but I nearly sent them a photo,” he told El Partidazo de COPE when asked if anyone from his former club got in touch after Atleti secured the title with a 2-1 comeback win over Real Valladolid on Saturday.
“I’m never going to go against Barcelona, they have given me everything and allowed me to get to the elite, but obviously the president [Bartomeu] said everything in the press instead of calling me.
“The moment they wanted Leo [Messi[ to stay they called me to use me to convince him, to talk to [Antoine] Griezmann… so why didn’t they call me when they wanted me to leave?
“Or why did the coach not come and tell me that he does not count on me because he wants another type of striker?
“Koeman told me I wasn’t in his plans, then he said ‘If we don’t figure this out by tomorrow, you’re back in my plans and I’m counting on you against Villarreal.’
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“I saw then that the man had no personality. He was not strong enough to tell me I was not needed.
“The decision [to sell] came from the board.”
Koeman’s future at Barcelona is reportedly under threat this summer, with new president Joan Laporta set to rebuild with a new manager.
The 58-year-old Dutchman is set to meet with Laporta before the end of the month to discuss the season and plans for the future.
Speaking before Barca’s 1-0 win over Eibar on Saturday, Koeman openly criticised the club’s board for their approach this season.
“You need to respect your coach and players more,” he said. “In the last part of the season I’ve not felt the support of the club.”
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