Luis Suarez hits out at ‘weak’ Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman and takes swipe at Josep Maria Bartomeu

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Luis Suarez has taken another swipe at Barcelona’s hierarchy following Atletico Madrid’s title win, hitting out at both head coach Ronald Koeman and axed president Josep Maria Bartomeu. The Uruguayan was deemed surplus to requirements by Barca’s board last summer and told to leave the club, but defied any notion he was past his best by netting 21 goals in La Liga – the fourth most in the division – and helping fire Atleti to the title. Suarez was visibly emotional after seeing off Real Valladolid in the final game of the season, crying on the pitch as he FaceTimed his wife, and slammed Barcelona for ‘not valuing him’ in a tearful post-match interview.

Now the 34-year-old has made it clear it was Bartomeu who forced him out of Camp Nou, though he also criticised Koeman’s role in his departure and felt the Dutchman showed a lack of character.

Asked if he felt anger towards Barcelona after Atletico’s title win, Suarez told El Partidazo de COPE: ‘The tears were of happiness. I will not go against Barcelona. ‘It was because of the situation. I will always be grateful to Barcelona.’ Probed on whether he was unhappy with the way Barcelona conducted themselves last summer, Suarez continued: ‘I’m never going to go against Barcelona, they have given me everything and allowed me to get to the elite, but obviously the president [Bartomeu] said everything in the press instead of calling me.

The moment they wanted Leo [Messi] to stay they called me to use me to convince him, to talk to [Antoine] Griezmann… so why didn’t they call me when they wanted me to leave? ‘Or why did the coach not come and tell me that he does not count on me because he wants another type of striker? ‘Koeman told me I wasn’t in his plans, then he said “If we don’t figure this out by tomorrow, you’re back in my plans and I’m counting on you against Villarreal.”

‘I saw then that the man had no personality. He was not strong enough to tell me I was not needed. The decision [to sell] came from the board.’ Asked if he has received any messages of congratulations from Bartomeu or previous members of the board, Suarez replied cheekily: ‘No-one congratulated me, but I nearly sent them a photo!’ Suarez also confirmed his intention to remain in Madrid, adding: ‘I am happy here and it is impossible to say that I am leaving.’

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