Luis Suarez could have stayed at the club to prove me wrong’ – Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman opens up on reported conflict

Luis Suarez could have stayed at the club to prove me wrong' - Barcelona coach, Ronald Koeman opens up on reported conflict

Barcelona’s new coach, Ronald Koeman, has stated that Luis Suarez could have stayed with Barcelona to fight for his spot instead of taking the easy way out of moving to Atletico Madrid.

Suarez had spent a successful six-year spell at the Nou Camp, winning the Champions League along with four La Liga titles in addition to other trophies, and managed to score 21 times in 36 appearances across all competitions in his final season with the club, but was sold to Atletico Madrid after Koeman told him he was deemed redundant.

The 33-year-old striker scored two goals and suggested a goal in his debut for Atletico.

Speaking of Suarez’s departure, Koeman says he was happy with Suarez and didn’t have to leave if he didn’t want to.

“In the case of Suarez, it had become very difficult for him to start playing and I made that known to him. He found it difficult, but I never had any problems with him,” Koeman told the NOS.

“He trained normally, trained well. In the end he made the choice to leave and I said, ‘If you don’t leave for whatever reason, then you are only one of the group, then you can prove me wrong.’ He could have stayed, yes.

“I’m good with Luis, but the club thought we needed to rejuvenate. You can see that in the team now. Ansu Fati is playing, he’s 17 years old. We have Pedri, 17 years old, who gets his chances. Ronald Araujo is. there at age 21. Trincao falls in a lot and is 20 years old, and we took Sergino Dest, who is 19. Those are all players for the future. ”

Lionel Messi, Suarez’s best friend, criticized the club’s decision to sell Suarez, saying the club could have treated him better, but Koeman says he has discussed the situation with Messi.

“If you have someone in the locker room that you and your wife and kids hang out with outside of football too, then such a response makes sense.

“That’s what I said to Messi: ‘I understand that you are disappointed and I think it’s a great shame that he is leaving, but these are the club’s choices.”

Messi wanted to leave the club earlier, but Koeman says he is happy with his performance since reversing his decision to leave the club.

“After signing here, I immediately contacted Leo. I went to his house and talked to him about his future,” he added.

“He was clear about his dissatisfaction. In the end it worked out well and from the moment he said ‘I’m going for it’ he has done everything I expected of him.”

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