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L. Messi

‘I've never seen Messi cry like that’ - Suarez reveals Barcelona exit 'hurt' Argentine icon

10:50 pm AEDT 7/10/22
Luis Suarez Lionel Messi
Luis Suarez’s departure from Barcelona “hurt” Lionel Messi, with the Uruguayan striker admitting he has never seen his close friend “cry like that”.
  • Striker forced out of Camp Nou
  • Team-mate made his own push for exit
  • Pair remain close friends

WHAT HAPPENED? The veteran Uruguayan frontman was deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou in 2020 despite hitting 198 goals for the Blaugrana through 283 appearances. He was eventually forced out, having been made to train away from the rest of Ronald Koeman’s first team squad, and linked up with Atletico Madrid at the end of a saga that contributed significantly towards Messi making his own push for an exit in a now infamous burofax incident.

WHAT THEY SAID: Suarez has told ESPN of the emotion that his departure from Catalunya caused: “It hurt and we suffered a lot. We came from the elimination in the Champions League against Bayern Munich and Leo's burofax, everything was very complicated and painful. Firstly, because of the way things went, and also because of the way we were treated.

“I went, I showed up to train and they sent me to train separately. I suffered a lot and came home and cried because of how they had treated me. It hurt me, it was also a message that they wanted to leave Leo alone, separate him. We had a bad time. Leo suffered a lot. I had never seen Messi cry like I saw him cry at Barcelona, it hurt him. I always had that uncertainty as to why it all happened, but then luckily I was happy at Atletico Madrid.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi and Suarez enjoyed considerable success together at Barcelona, with Brazilian star Neymar completing the legendary ‘MSN’ attacking unit, and parted ways having savoured La Liga and Champions League title triumphs together.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT? Messi did leave Camp Nou in 2021, as he made his way to Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent, while Suarez is now back in his homeland at Nacional having severed ties with Atletico after two seasons in Madrid.