Suarez can take Atletico to a different level, says Simeone

(FILES) In this file photo taken on February 27, 2019 Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez celebrates his second goal during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King’s Cup) semi-final second leg football match between Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid. – Atletico Madrid announced the signing of Barcelona forward Luis Suarez late on September 23, 2020, confirming the Uruguayan striker is set to continue playing in Spain rather than joining Juventus in Italy. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP)

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone believes Luis Suarez can lift the club to new heights and said his new signing will be in the squad to face Granada on Sunday.

Suarez has joined Atletico after being pushed out by Barcelona, who allowed the 33-year-old to leave for free, with only an extra 5 million euros due in variables.

“His arrival is an opportunity for us to keep growing as a club and to have new energy as a team,” said Simeone.

“We spoke before he went to Barcelona at a time when the possibility came up that he might join us. The last six years he’s had have been incredibly successful.

“His teammates want to make him settle in as quickly as possible so his goals and game can help us win.”

Simeone said Suarez trained with his new side on Friday and is in line to make his debut against Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano this weekend.

“Yesterday he had a long day, he finished training very well with the team,” said Simeone.

“He seems to be so motivated and excited and of course he will be in the squad, available for the team. Tomorrow we will see if he starts or comes on in the second half.”

Suarez has said he was drawn to the

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Lionel Messi lashes out at Barcelona for selling Luis Suárez

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 13, 2019 Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) celebrates with Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez after scoring during the UEFA Champions League round of 16, second leg football match between FC Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona.  (Photo by PAU BARRENA / AFP)

BARCELONA, Spain— Lionel Messi criticized the exit of teammate and good friend Luis Suárez on Friday, dealing another blow to the damaged relationship between the Argentine and Barcelona’s leadership.

Messi posted a photo of himself with Suárez on Instagram with a message expressing his sadness for his friend’s departure and his anger at how the club transferred him to Atlético Madrid.

“It is going to be so strange seeing you in another shirt, and even stranger to have to play against you,” Messi wrote. “You deserved a sending-off fit for what you are: one of the most important players in club history, both for what you did for the group and individually — not the one they gave you. But it is true that at this point nothing surprises me.”

Barcelona decided to overhaul its squad after the 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League last month. The 33-year-old Suárez was told by incoming coach Ronald Koeman that he was no longer wanted. The club, hard hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic, also needed to reduce its expenditures on salaries for its players.

Suárez bid farewell to Barcelona’s fans in an emotional news conference on Thursday. He leaves Camp Nou as the club’s third leading scorer with 198 goals. The Uruguayan helped Barcelona win 13 titles since arriving in 2014 from Liverpool, including four Spanish league trophies and the Champions League in 2015.

Suárez forged a dynamic scoring duo with Messi over

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Emotional Suarez says it was tough to accept Barca departure

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 05, 2020 Barcelona’s Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez celebrates after scoring a goal during the Spanish League football match between Villarreal and Barcelona at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal. (Photo by JOSE JORDAN / AFP)

MADRID — Luis Suárez was emotional when he was introduced by Barcelona six years ago, and again on Thursday when he had to say goodbye after being told he wasn’t wanted by the club anymore.

The Uruguayan striker, who has joined Atlético Madrid, couldn’t hold back tears as he bid farewell and said he will always be grateful despite being told to leave.

“When the club says it doesn’t need you anymore, you have to accept it,” he said in a news conference organized by Barcelona. “But it takes a while, it’s difficult. Your family is involved, you’ve gone through a lot with the club. So it’s difficult to accept that you are leaving, but you have to. It’s the reality, it’s how things are in soccer.”

The 33-year-old Suárez, who reached a deal with Barcelona rival Atlético on Wednesday, broke down a few times while talking about his former teammates and his time with his former club.

“This is very hard for me. It wasn’t expected, I didn’t have anything prepared,” he said. “It’s been many years, I’ve made many friends, that makes me happy.”

Suárez said he was “leaving with pride for having made history with this club.”

He departs as Barcelona’s third highest scorer with 198 goals, behind César Rodríguez (232) and Lionel Messi (634). The Uruguayan helped Barcelona win 13 titles since arriving in 2014 from Liverpool, including four Spanish league trophies and the Champions League in 2015.

Atlético will pay up to 6 million euros ($7 million) to Barcelona after signing the striker,

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