Barcelona coach Koeman: Of course Messi is angry about Suarez

Carrie Guzman
September 27, 2020

Suarez, 33, had one more year to run on the contract he signed with Barca in 2016, but was told by new head coach Ronald Koeman last month that he was not part of his plans.

Despite reports claiming the move was on the brink of collapse, Suarez completed a transfer to Atletico Madrid earlier this week, bringing to a close his six-year stint as a Barca player.

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As The Guardian points out, Messi has "stepped up" his criticism of Barcelona in the previous year, despite being known for his "mild manner away from the pitch".

Messi said Suarez did not deserve "to get kicked out like [he] did", adding he was not surprised by Barca's actions. "I've already played against him in the Uruguay-Argentina matches, playing against each other is not going to change the feelings we have for each other".

Koeman said ahead of their opening game: "It seemed that I had been the bad guy in this movie, but it is not like that". It wasn't just my decision, it was also the club's. "But the truth is at this point nothing surprises me".

"Then when they say you have tested negative, you feel joy, enthusiasm, emotion, and incredibly appreciative of that excitement you always feel for the start of the season".

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"You deserved the goodbye for what you are: one of the most important players in the club's history, achieving important things both as a group and individually. It's going to be so hard to not continue to share every day with you both on the pitches and away from them". So many years, so many mates [a South American caffeine-based drink], dinners. So many things we will never forget, all the time we spent together'.

"The style of play is going to be different, the system is going to be different and the way we press rivals going to be different", he said.

Atletico Madrid will begin their La Liga 2020-21 season on Sunday (September 27) against Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium.

"It will be unusual to see you in another shirt and more so to face you".

"I wish you all the best in this new challenge".

Messi has had a long-running feud with club president Josep Maria Bartomeu which intensified after Barcelona were humiliated 8-2 by German club Bayern Munich in a Champions League quarter-final in August.

Barca, Atletico and Sevilla are starting the season later due to their Champions League and Europa League excursions.

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