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Lionel Messi rips Barcelona management as Luis Suárez signs with Atletico Madrid

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Lionel Messi has lambasted Barcelona officials once again.

Exactly two weeks after the world’s greatest player reluctantly announced that he would remain with the only professional club he’s ever known — accusing Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu of lying to him in the process — for the final year of his contract, Messi ripped his employers for their handing of fellow attacker and close friend Luis Suárez, who left for Spanish rival Atletico Madrid this week.

Suárez scored 147 goals in 191 league games for Barcelona after arriving from English Premier League club Liverpool in 2014, helping the Blaugrana to four La Liga titles, four Spanish Cups and one UEFA Champions League crown over six years. The Uruguayan had another 12 months remaining on his contract but was effectively forced out of the Nou Camp after being informed that he was not in new manager Ronald Koeman’s plans.

Messi took to Instagram to pay tribute to Suárez and to voice his view that Barca’s treatment of his fellow South American was disrespectful.

“How difficult it is going to be not to continue sharing the day to day with you, both on the field and off. It will be odd to see you in another shirt and much stranger to play against you,” Messi wrote in Spanish.

“You deserved to leave as what you are: one of the most important players in the club’s history, achieving important things both as a group and individually. Not to get kicked out by them like they did. But the truth is that at this point, nothing surprises me.”

Messi concluded the post by wishing Suárez good luck in Madrid. “I love you very much. See you soon friend.”

Suárez was officially presented as a Atletico player hours after Messi’s post. Later on Friday, he participated in his first training session with Diego Simeone’s team:

Suárez is expected to be available to play in his new club’s 2020-21 season opener on Sunday against Granada. Barcelona and Atletico are scheduled to meet in Madrid on Nov. 22.

Lionel Messi celebrates with Luis Suarez during a 2019 match.
Lionel Messi (left) and Luis Suarez won four La Liga titles and one Champions League crown over six years as teammates with Barcelona. (Eric Alonso/Getty Images)

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