Messi still irked by Suarez's 'crazy' Barcelona exit

Messi/Suarez Barcelona 2019-20

Lionel Messi is still upset about Luis Suarez’s departure from Barcelona, describing it as a 'crazy' decision.

Suarez was deemed surplus to requirements by new Barca coach Ronald Koeman and allowed to head away from the club.

His destination was Atletico Madrid, following a failed bid to join Juventus in Serie A, and the Uruguayan is playing his part as Diego Simeone’s side push for the La Liga title.

Atletico are level with Real Madrid at the top of the table, with two games in hand, while Barca languish eight points adrift.

Messi has questioned the decision to not only let his close friend go, but sanction the departure to one of their major rivals for silverware.

"I had thought about it before Luis Suarez [left], but that was crazy," Messi said in a wide-ranging interview with La Sexta in which he talked about his future, former team-mate Neymar and great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

"I didn't like the way he left. I didn't think he deserved to leave like that. 

“He went for free to a team that is fighting for the same things as us."

Messi remains in regular dialogue with Suarez and Neymar, the latter of whom he will face in the Champions League in February.

"We speak from time to time," Messi said of the upcoming clash with Paris Saint-Germain. "Recently, we - Messi and Neymar - have spoken about facing each other in the Champions League.

"I didn't like it [the draw] because we have to face a strong team, and neither does Ney because even though we aren't at our best now, we can improve.

"I speak to Luis almost every day, and between the three of us, we have a very good relationship."

Messi’s production rate has been below his usual standards so far this term. 

The Argentina international is having to adjust to the style of a new manager, but Barca could still challenge for the title if Messi hits form in the second half of the season.

Barca return to La Liga action at home to Eibar on Tuesday, and they will go into the game without their talisman - who has an ankle injury. The aim is for the 33-year-old to return to the fold against Huesca on January 3.