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.”


Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir F1 GP

Updated 6 min 54 sec ago

Hamilton tests positive for COVID-19, will miss Sakhir F1 GP

  • The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time
  • Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain

World champion Lewis Hamilton tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss the Sakhir Grand Prix this weekend, his Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team said Tuesday.
The team issued a statement saying Hamilton was tested three times last week and returned a negative result each time, the last on Sunday afternoon at the Bahrain International Circuit where he won the Grand Prix.
“But he up woke Monday morning with mild symptoms and was informed at the same time that a contact prior to arrival in Bahrain had subsequently tested positive,” the team said. “Lewis, therefore, took a further test and returned a positive result. This has since been confirmed by a retest.”
Hamilton is in isolation in accordance with the health protocols in Bahrain.
“Apart from mild symptoms, he is otherwise fit and well, and the entire team sends him its very best wishes for a swift recovery,” the team statement said.
The 35-year-old Hamilton appeared to be drained at the end of the race in Bahrain.
“It’s physical, this track has always been physical. We’ve got lots of high-speed corners so I was definitely feeling it,” he said soon after the GP. “I was sliding around a lot out there and I wasn’t really quite sure how it would play out at the end.”
There is another race in Bahrain on Sunday — on Sakhir’s shorter outer circuit — before the 17-race season concludes in Abu Dhabi.
Hamilton has a big lead in the F1 drivers’ champion with 332 points, well ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on 201 points and Max Verstappen on 189.
The Mercedes team said it would announce a replacement driver later in the week.