Barcelona: Lionel Messi criticised the exit of teammate and good friend Luis Suarez on Friday, dealing another blow to the damaged relationship between the Argentine and Barcelona’s leadership. Messi posted a photo of himself with Suarez on Instagram with a message expressing his sadness for his friend’s departure and his anger at how the club transferred him to Atletico Madrid.
“It is going to be so strange seeing you in another shirt, and even stranger to have to play against you,” Messi wrote.
“You deserved a sending-off fit for what you are: one of the most important players in club history, both for what you did for the group and individually — not the one they gave you. But it is true that at this point nothing surprises me.”
Barcelona decided to overhaul its squad after the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month. The 33-year-old Suarez was told by incoming coach Ronald Koeman that he was no longer wanted.
“I was accepting the idea (of your departure), but not until I entered the changing room did I realise what it means,” Messi wrote.
“How difficult it is going to be not sharing each day with you, both on and off the field. We will miss you very much. These have been many years of many mates, lunches, dinners … many things I won’t forget from all those days together.”
Barcelona transferred Suarez to Spanish league rival Atletico for 6 million euros ($7 million).