Messi posted a photo of himself with Suarez on Instagram with a message expressing his sadness for his friends 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. The club, hard hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic, also needed to reduce its expenditures on salaries for its players.
Suarez bid farewell to Barcelona’s fans in an emotional news conference on Thursday. He leaves Camp Nou as the club’s third leading scorer with 198 goals. The Uruguayan helped Barcelona win 13 titles since arriving in 2014 from Liverpool, including four Spanish league trophies and the Champions League in 2015.
Suarez forged a dynamic scoring duo with Messi over the years, and the two South Americans became neighbors and fast friends, along with their families.
“I was accepting the idea (of your departure), but not until I entered the changing room did I realize 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.”
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Ya me venía haciendo la idea pero hoy entré al vestuario y me cayó la ficha de verdad. Que difícil va a ser no seguir compartiendo el día a día con vos, tanto en las canchas como afuera. Los vamos a extrañar muchísimo. Fueron muchos años, muchos mates, comidas, cenas… Muchas cosas que nunca se van a olvidar, todos los días juntos. Va a ser raro verte con otra camiseta y mucho más enfrentarte. Te merecías que te despidan como lo que sos: uno de los jugadores más importantes de la historia del club, consiguiendo cosas importantes tanto en lo grupal como individualmente. Y no que te echen como lo hicieron. Pero la verdad que a esta altura ya no me sorprende nada. Te deseo todo lo mejor en este nuevo desafío. Te quiero mucho, los quiero mucho. Hasta pronto, amigo.