Messi says Suarez did not deserve to be kicked out
BARCELONA: Lionel Messi has launched his latest attack on Barcelona’s hierarchy by criticising the way the club treated strike partner and friend Luis Suarez, who left for La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid this week.
Captain Messi, who threatened to leave Barca last month and recently hit out at president Josep Maria Bartomeu’s leadership of the club, said the Uruguayan, the club’s third-highest scorer of all time, was harshly treated by Barca.
New coach Ronald Koeman called Suarez a few days after getting the job to inform the striker, who had one year left on his contract, that he was no longer wanted.
Bartomeu had left Suarez off a list of players he considered not for sale in the aftermath of the 8-2 defeat to Bayern
Munich in the Champions League last month.
“You deserved a farewell befitting who you are: one of the most important players in the history of the club, achieving great things for the team and on an individual level,” Messi wrote on his official Instagram account yesterday.
“You did not deserve for them to throw you out like they did. But the truth is that at this stage nothing surprises me anymore.
“It will be strange to see you in another shirt and even stranger to come up against you on the pitch.”
Barcelona begin their La Liga campaign at home to Villarreal tomorrow.
IBRA CONTRACTS COVID-19
AC Milan’s talismanic forward Zlatan
Ibrahimovic tested positive for Covid19 on Thursday and the 38-year-old responded in typically irreverent style, saying it was a bad idea for the virus to challenge him.
Milan said that Ibrahimovic was placed in quarantine at home.
“I tested negative for Covid yesterday and positive today. No symptoms what so ever. Covid had the courage to challenge me. Bad idea,” said Ibrahimovic on Twitter.
FIXTURES (kick-offs Thai time)
Alaves v Getafe (6pm), Valencia v Huesca (9pm), Elche v Real Sociedad (11.30pm), Real Betis v Real Madrid (2am, Sun)
Osasuna v Levante (5pm), Eibar v Athletic Bilbao (7pm), Atletico Madrid v Granada (19pm), Cadiz v Sevilla (11.30pm), Real Valladolid v Celta Vigo (11.30pm), Barcelona v Villarreal (2am, Mon)
Torino v Atalanta (8pm), Cagliari v Lazio (11pm), Sampdoria v Benevento (11pm), Inter Milan v Fiorentina (1.45am, Sun)
Spezia v Sassuolo (5.30pm), Napoli v Genoa (8pm), Hellas Verona v Udinese (8pm), Crotone v AC Milan (11pm), Roma v Juventus (1.45am, Mon)
Bologna v Parma (1.45am, Tue)
Today Moenchengladbach v Union Berlin, Leverkusen v Leipzig, Mainz v Stuttgart, Augsburg v Dortmund, Bielefeld v Cologne (all 8.30pm), Schalke v Bremen (11.30pm)
Tomorrow Hoffenheim v Bayern Munich (8.30pm), Freiburg v Wolfsburg (1apm)
Luis Suarez, left, and Lionel Messi at Barcelona.