Luis Enrique exit from Barcelona surprises Suarez

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While the announcement was unexpected, the striker backed his manager's decision to leave Camp Nou at season's end.

Luis Suarez said he was shocked when head coach Luis Enrique announced his decision to leave at the end of the season.

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Following Barca's 6-1 La Liga rout of Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, Luis Enrique revealed he will step down at the conclusion of his contract in June.

Winner of eight trophies as head coach at Barca, the 46-year-old former midfielder — who replaced Gerardo Martino in 2014 — cited the need for rest as the Catalan giants still fight for La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey glory.

While the announcement was unexpected, Suarez backed Luis Enrique's decision to leave Camp Nou.

"The truth is that he surprised us a little, we did not expect it, but it is a decision that is understood and accepted," Suarez told Onda Cero's 'El Transistor'.

"His justification is more than acceptable because the coach's role is very difficult. It takes many hours of work. He is a parent and wants to enjoy that."

News of Luis Enrique's departure came as titleholders Barca leapfrogged bitter rivals Real Madrid atop the table by a point, though the Spanish capital club have a game in hand.

Suarez and his team-mates are determined to send Luis Enrique out a winner.

"We do not lower our arms at any time, there are people who said that Barca gave away the league and were lost but not at all," added the Uruguay international, who has scored 20 La Liga goals this term.

"Now we depend on us even though we have very difficult matches left."

Luis Enrique's Barcelona are at home to Celta Vigo on Saturday.

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