FC Barcelona News

Luis Suarez Reveals Barcelona Considered Him 'Too Old' to Be Able to Perform at the Top Level

Feb 23, 2021, 11:34 AM GMT+5:30
Luis Suarez was let go by Barcelona last summer and joined LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid
Luis Suarez was let go by Barcelona last summer and joined LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid | Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Luis Suarez has revealed that Barcelona told him he was "too old" to perform at the highest level. He was deemed surplus by Ronald Koeman, and made a €6million switch to Atletico Madrid last summer.

The 34-year-old tops the LaLiga scoring chart with an astounding 16 goals in 19 games, one goal ahead of his close friend and former team-mate Lionel Messi. Suarez insisted he is happy at Atletico, but admitted that he is still irked by being billed as too old.

“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. If I hadn't done anything at a club like Barca for three or four seasons, I would have understood. 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."

Suarez had a hughly-successful six-year spell at Camp Nou, where he scored an upward of 20 goals a season in every campaign. His peak was in the 2015-16 season, when he netted an astonishing 59 goals in all competitions, and went on to win the European Golden Shoe.

Last week, he insisted that he has no plans of retiring, and said that he's going nowhere until he decides it's time. "I still feel like I'm enjoying this moment that I'm in today, in football's elite," Suarez said.

"Being at Atletico, you're in football's elite. Some people didn't believe that I could still be at this level. I've got the same enthusiasm. I hope that this year, next year and for however many years it is, I keep competing and giving my best, until you realise that you've gone as far as you can. But no one will get rid of me. I'll decide when I go."