Atletico Madrid striker Luis Suarez has told Barcelona fans not to blame coach Ronald Koeman for his controversial departure.
Following Uruguay’s victory against Chile, Suarez spoke about his recent exit from Barcelona.
“Koeman told me that I wasn’t going to be leaving the club and that he had me in his plans,” Suarez told ESPN. “It wasn’t the coach; it was the directors who got rid of me at Barcelona. It bothered them that I was Messi’s friend. They always used to complain that Messi didn’t get on well with any forwards at the club and when he does get on well with one, they get rid of him.
“These are things that they decide. And two years ago they wanted to get rid of me to bring in other forwards. They didn’t bring in anyone to compete with me because I was competing at a top level. I earned respect and I didn’t deserve to find out that I was leaving through the press. They were talking about money and about me going to another club. They should have called me and explained properly why I was leaving. I’m conscious of my age and wouldn’t have had any problem leaving.
On the other hand, Suarez did explain that Ronald Koeman wanted to keep him at the Camp Nou.
“If a coach comes in and says that you’re not in his plans, then you start to doubt whether it’s Koeman or the directors that don’t want you there,” he commented. “Koeman called me to let me know, but 10 days after knowing that I was leaving.
“He said that if I couldn’t find a club, that he’d have me in mind.”