Suárez says it was tough to accept Barça departure
Luis Suarez was emotional when he was introduced by Barcelona six years ago, and again yesterday when he had to say goodbye after being told he wasn't wanted by the club anymore.
The Uruguayan striker, who has joined Atletico Madrid, couldn't hold back tears as he bid farewell and said he will always be grateful, despite being told to leave.
"When the club says it doesn't need you anymore, you have to accept it," he said in a news conference organised by Barcelona. "But it takes a while, it's difficult. Your family is involved, you've gone through a lot with the club. So it's difficult to accept that you are leaving, but you have to. It's the reality, it's how things are in football."
The 33-year-old Suarez, who reached a deal with Barcelona rival Atletico on Wednesday, broke down a few times while talking about his former teammates and his time with his former club.
"This is very hard for me. It wasn't expected, I didn't have anything prepared," he said. "It's been many years, I've made many friends, that makes me happy."
Suarez said he was "leaving with pride for having made history with this club".
He departs as Barcelona's third-highest scorer with 198 goals, behind Cesar Rodriguez (232) and Lionel Messi (634). The Uruguayan helped Barcelona win 13 titles since arriving in 2014 from Liverpool, including four Spanish league trophies and the Champions League in 2015.
Atletico will pay up to 6 million euros ($7 million) to Barcelona after signing the striker, who last month was told by incoming coach Ronald Koeman that he was not in his plans.
Suarez thanked Barcelona for believing in him after his biting incident 'mistake' at the 2014 World Cup, which led to a long ban but didn't keep the Catalan club from signing him.
"I'll always be thankful for that," he said. "It wasn't easy to accept that, but the club believed in me. From the time I arrived, my colleagues and everyone in the club treated me wonderfully."