The Uruguayan striker was shown the door at Barcelona last year, despite his goal and trophy-laden exploits at Camp Nou.
Barcelona told Luis Suarez that he was too old to perform at the highest level anymore and, therefore, decided to part ways with him.
Suarez had a remarkable six-year stint at Camp Nou. He became Barcelona’s joint-second highest goalscorer of all-time, alongside Cesar Rodriguez, on 195 goals in 283 appearances and won 13 major honors.
Despite his accomplishments, a 34-year-old Suarez was shown the door last summer due to his age. The decision caught many by surprise, with the club’s captain Lionel Messi branding it as ‘crazy’.
“What really bothered me was when they told me that I was old and that I could no longer play at a high level, be up to [the task of fronting] a great team,” Suarez told France Football. “That’s what I did not like.”
The striker has since proved Barcelona wrong by enjoying an impressive start at new club Atletico Madrid. He is currently level with Messi as LaLiga’s leading goalscorer on 16 goals from only 20 appearances this season.
“If I hadn’t done anything at a club like Barca for three or four seasons, I would have understood,” continued Suarez. “But, every year at Barca, I scored more than 20 goals per season. I have always had good statistics, just behind Leo (Messi).
“Today, we can see that it is not easy to play at Barca … A lot of players who signed there did not have the level that was expected of them. Me, I played for six years at Barca maintaining a certain level and living up to what was expected of me.
“At Barca, circumstances have changed, the club needed changes. And I accepted it. The only thing that bothered me was the way [it happened]. I think I deserved some respect.
“It was a decision that I could not prevent. I felt like I was no longer being counted on, so with my pride, I told myself that I was going to continue to show what I am worth. This is why the idea of going to Atletico, a competitive team, appealed to me.”