Luis Suarez reveals details of infamous phone call with Ronald Koeman

The former Barcelona striker was told he wasn’t in Koeman’s plans in a 40-second phone call

Jamie Braidwood
Thursday 07 October 2021 17:17
<p>Luis Suarez scored against his former club in a 2-0 win on Saturday</p>

Luis Suarez scored against his former club in a 2-0 win on Saturday

Luis Suarez has slammed Ronald Koeman for “lacking the personality” to deal with his exit from Barcelona in the proper manner.

The Atletico Madrid striker was told he was no longer wanted at the club by Koeman in a 40-second phone call last summer, shortly after the former Netherlands manager had taken charge at the Nou Camp.

Suarez, who scored 198 goals in six seasons for Barcelona and is third on their all-time scorers list, joined Atletico shortly after and went on to win the title with Diego Simeone’s side that campaign.

The 34-year-old scored the opening goal in Atletico’s 2-0 win over Koeman’s Barcelona on Saturday and celebrated by putting his hand to his ear in an apparent reference to the phone call that took place the previous year.

Suarez denied that the gesture was aimed but Koeman, but in an interview on Twitch with steamer Gerard Romero, the Uruguayan hit out at the Barcelona boss for how he handled his departure in September 2020.

“The call from Koeman to tell me that lasted 40 seconds, it’s not the way to say goodbye to a legend,” Suarez said.

“First he told me that I wasn’t in his plans, and then he told me that if I didn’t get my contract sorted out I was going to play against Villarreal [in the opening match of La Liga].

“He lacked the personality to tell me clearly if he didn’t want me or if it was really the club that didn’t want me. They were very difficult days because of everything I gave to the club.”

Suarez was told to train away from the first team following Koeman’s arrival and was sold to Atletico for £5.5million within weeks of the phone call.

The striker, who won La Liga four times, the Copa Del Rey four times and the Champions League during his time at Barcelona, said his celebration on Saturday was intended for his friends and children.

“It was for the people who know I have the same number, so they know I’m still on my phone,” Suarez told broadcaster Movistar. “It was something I had agreed on with my kids. It was not for Koeman, not at all.”

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