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Luis Suárez

Furious Suarez reveals infamous Koeman phone call lasted just 40 seconds as he was binned by Barcelona boss

11:44 BST 07/10/2021
Luis Suarez Atletico Madrid Ronald Koeman Barcelona GFX
The Uruguayan was deemed surplus to requirements at Camp Nou and explains how conversation with Dutchman was 'not the way to say goodbye to a legend'

Luis Suarez has revealed that an infamous phone call with Ronald Koeman in which he was informed that he no longer had a future at Barcelona lasted just 40 seconds.

The experienced Uruguayan frontman had cemented legend status at Camp Nou across six years that had delivered 198 goals, four La Liga titles and a Champions League crown.

He was, however, to be deemed surplus to requirements in the summer of 2020, with a Dutch coach making the disposal of a seasoned striker one of his first pieces of business upon taking the managerial reins in Catalunya.

What has been said?

Explaining to Gerard Romero on Twitch how that conversation played out, Suarez has said: "The call from Koeman to tell me that [I wasn't in his plans] lasted 40 seconds, it's not the way to say goodbye to a legend.

"First he told me that I wasn't in his plans, and then he told me that if I didn't get my contract sorted out I was going to play against Villarreal.

"He lacked the personality to tell me clearly if he didn't want me or if it was really the club that didn't want me."

Suarez added, with close friend Lionel Messi also making a push for the exits that summer before eventually leaving Barca for Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent in 2021: "They were very difficult days because of everything I gave to the club.

"I spoke to Sofia [Suarez's wife] and Leo after the phone call. It was a complicated year due to everything.

"Messi asked to leave and I was being sent away. Both of our families had a very bad time."

What has happened since?

With an exit door swung open at Camp Nou, Suarez made a stunning switch to Barca’s domestic rivals Atletico Madrid.

He helped them to La Liga title glory in 2020-21 while those he left behind in Catalunya toiled and Koeman saw pressure build to the point that he is now expected to be relieved of his coaching duties.

Suarez helped to put another nail in that coffin during his last outing, as Atletico downed Barca 2-0 at Wanda Metropolitano, with the 34-year-old breaking out a phone call celebration.

He has insisted that those actions were in no way a nod towards his treatment by Koeman, but many have been reading between the lines and suggested that an evergreen South American was getting his own back.

Suarez aims cheeky dig at Pique

The striker also took the chance to rib his former team-mate Gerard Pique, with Romero setting him up for a cheeky dig.

"You left Pique a couple of times. What little joke… so that later they say you’re finished … Gery [Pique] is still looking for you at Wanda," Romero said.

Suarez responded with a laugh: "‘It’s not that difficult nowadays, either!"

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