Suarez says he spent days in tears amid rift with Barcelona

Uruguay's Luis Suarez scores from the penalty point the opening goal during a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 against Chile at the Centenario stadium in Montevideo, Uruguay, on Oct. 8, 2020. (Raul Martinez/Pool via AP)
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Updated 10 October 2020

Suarez says he spent days in tears amid rift with Barcelona

MADRID: Luis Suarez has said he was reduced to tears by Barcelona’s treatment of him in his final weeks at the club before leaving for La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid and revealed he was not allowed to take part in training matches.

“Those days were very difficult. I cried because of what I was having to go through,” Suarez told the Uruguay national team’s official media after scoring in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Chile in a World Cup qualifier.

“I didn’t take the club’s message that they were looking for a solution for me in order to mix things up very well. I was hurt most of all by the way they did things, because one has to accept it when a cycle comes to an end.”

Suarez became Barca’s third all-time top scorer with 198 goals in six years at the club and helped the team win four La Liga titles, four domestic cups and the 2015 Champions League but was forced out with one year left on his contract.

After being told by new coach Ronald Koeman he was no longer in the team’s plans, he was excluded from the squad for the team’s three pre-season matches before agreeing a switch to Atletico on a free transfer.

“Not everyone knows what happened but the worst thing was going to training and being sent to a different group from everyone else because I was not allowed to play in practice matches,” Suarez said.

“My wife could see how unhappy I was and she wanted to see me smile again and when the chance came to join Atletico I had no doubts.”

Suarez scored two goals in Atletico’s 6-1 win over Granada on his debut before two frustrating goalless draws against Huesca and Villarreal.

The striker, 33, gave a tearful farewell news conference the day before signing for Atletico while Lionel Messi, his old strike partner, hit out at the club’s treatment of the Uruguayan.

“I wasn’t surprised that Messi supported me publicly because I know him too well. He knew the pain I was going through, the feeling that I was being kicked out was what hurt me the most,” added Suarez.

“The way they did things was not right and Leo knows how me and my family suffered.”


Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

Updated 42 min 58 sec ago

Yokohama send big guns Jeonbuk packing with 4-1 victory

  • It’s a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved — Marinos coach Ange Postecouglou

DOHA: Yokohama Marinos cruised into the knockout phase of the Asian Champions League for the first time in their history on Tuesday, hammering two-time champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 4-1 in their Group H clash.

Yokohama's Thai defender Theerathon Bunmathan thundered in a shot from the edge of the box in the 17th minute to set the tone, before three goals in the second half sent the 2006 and 2016 winners Jeonbuk crashing out of the tournament.

"It's a great performance and a credit to the players, because it's the first time the club has got out of the group stage," said Yokohama coach Ange Postecouglou.

"We started really well and put pressure on them, scored a goal — a good goal from Bunmathan.

"We missed some chances in the first half which always keeps the opposition in the game, but in the second half we were a bit smarter, worked our counterattacks really well and scored three good goals.

"It's a fantastic achievement and we are proud of everyone involved."

Besides being the first team from eastern Asia to win the Champions League when it was launched in its current format in 2003, Jeonbuk are also eight-time K League winners, a South Korean record, which includes four consecutive titles starting in 2017.

But at the Al Janoub Stadium on Tuesday, their only bright moment came in the 54th minute when Gustavo fired home from the penalty spot three minutes after Marcos Junior had put Yokohama 2-0 ahead.

Teruhito Nagakawa's 71st minute strike and an own goal by Song—  whose attempted headed clearance found his own net seven minutes from close — confirmed Jeonbuk's exit.

"The team gave what it was possible to do with the contingent that we have," lamented Jeonbuk coach Jose Morais.

"In the first half, strategically, we went in terms of containing the offensive game of Yokohama, which is a big game and a quality game."

"In the second half, the result as it was wasn't enough to take us forward, so we took more risks."

In Group G, Chinese giants Guangzhou Evergrande and South Korea's Suwon Samsung Bluewings played out a 1-1 draw at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Lim Sang-hyub put Suwon ahead in the 53rd minute but Wei Shihao restored parity in the 72nd for Guangzhou with the help of an assist from Ai Kesen.

The result means the second qualifying spot from the group will be decided on Friday with the Bluewings needing at least a 2-0 victory to join Vissel Kobe of Japan in the round of 16.

Guangzhou coach Fabio Cannavaro was once again at a loss to explain his team's showing.

"I am not happy because the performance of my team in the first half was not so good," said the former Italy international.

"We didn't control the game and we didn't even try to play football. Even in defence we did not play well. I don't want to find excuses."

Suwon's Park Kun-ha lamented the fact that his team didn't make the most of the chances they got.

"We got the first goal and then unfortunately conceded the equaliser. We had many chances at the end but we could not win."