The 33-year old Luis Suarez could not hold back tears as he said goodbye to his colleagues and fans of FC Barcelona.
Everything got emotional. Some of his colleagues were around. So also was the embattled president of FC Barcelona, Josep Maria Bartomeu. At the end, the now former Barcelona striker faced the press in a question and answer session:
Has everything gone better than you expected at your presentation?
Arriving and fulfilling the dream of playing for Barça is a dream come true. I never imagined reaching these numbers. At Barça you have to constantly be performing at your best and I am proud to have endured so much.
Did you imagine that your exit was going to be like this; is there anyone you feel has done things untowardly?
Now I have to feel proud. There are going to be people who want to agree and those who don’t. Now what I have to do is change things up and be grateful to Barça for giving me unforgettable moments.
It’s been a crazy month which is ending with two brothers (you and Messi) separating. Who was responsible for your separation?
I agree it was a crazy month. Many things have been said. Things have been made up; things have been leaked that are not true. Sometimes you are outraged by that, but you have to try to not get involved. When you arrive at Barcelona, they said be careful with Leo, the strikers … And now it turns out that the striker is bad for Leo. We are aware that we try to do our best.
Do you think you still have something to give at Barça?
I’ve already thought that, but now that is in the past. Obviously I feel good enough to continue competing in La Liga. I’m looking forward to it, more so after the injury, which leaves me with a bittersweet taste. I leave the way I’m leaving, as a competitor – with a new dream and desire to show that I can continue competing.
How would you like to be remembered by the fans?
With the feeling that I have lived up to expectations. Surpassing players like the ones I surpassed, I never imagined it. I am happy to leave a nice mark.
How, when and with whom did the option of signing for Atlético come up?
It sounds ironic but when Barça told me that they would no longer need me, there were many calls. I felt qualified to compete for two teams like Madrid and Atlético.
Have you ever imagined playing against Barça?
No. I still haven’t digested that this is goodbye. I am looking forward because I am attracted to this new challenge. I already told someone that they know me and I also know them. It will be nice.
What do you think about the Barça attack that you leave behind now?
From what you see in training, it is like at the beginning of every year. There are many young players that contribute. I think there are more options to rotate than before. I think it will be a good year for Barça and that the youngsters will achieve important things.