Luis Suarez, one of Barcelona's finest ever players, has disdainfully been shown the door at Barcelona as new era begins in Catalonia.
Love him or hate him, Luis Suarez is one of the finest strikers to have graced European shores.
The Uruguayan has been terrorising defences for years now, and, despite his quirks and his penchant for controversy, has to be classed as one of the best hitmen of a generation.
While his snap, crackle and pop time at Liverpool was frightfully exciting, Suarez will surely be remembered for his scintillating goal scoring antics at Barcelona.
In his 283 games at the Catalan giants, Suarez netted a staggering 198 goals while registering 109 assists.
He was part of a team that won trophies at will. Four La Liga’s, four Copa Del Rey’s, and one UEFA Champions League, as well as a Club World Cup and European Super Cup.
Unlike so many modern-day superstars as well, Suarez was more than happy to play second fiddle at the club. Having to play in the thunderous shade cast by Lionel Messi’s mighty shadow can never be easy, but it was in that shadow that Suarez thrived.
Who can forget the sheer joy of watching the South American maestro linking up with Messi and Neymar to form one of the most terrifying triumvirates the world has ever known.
There were times during those heady days when Barcelona were simply unplayable. Suarez, one of the tormentors-in-chief, was a massive part of that.
Having forced Messi into staying with the club, scuppering his plans to move to England Barcelona then turned their attentions to Suarez.
So the site of Suarez, Barcelona’s third-highest ever goalscorer, leaving the club’s training ground in floods of tears having been forced out, did not go down well with the football-loving public.
Suarez has signed for La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, but according to all reports, was desperate to stay in Catalonia.
Barcelona’s reprehensible treatment of one of their finest servants is simply beyond the pale.
Suarez deserved the grandest of send-offs. He had earned the right to be carried off into the sunset by his adoring fans. Instead, he sped sheepishly out of a training-ground gate, shielding his face from the cameras in a vain attempt to hide his tears.
Thursday’s farewell press conference will have done little to appease the seething hoards, either. Even Messi, the darling of Catalonia, couldn’t hide his true feelings with regards to the Suarez departure.
In a scathing post on Instagram, Messi pulled no punches.
“It will be strange to see you with another shirt and much more to face you. You are one of the most important players in the club’s history, achieving important things both as a group and individually…And not to get kicked out like they did. But the truth is that at this point nothing surprises me.
There is no question the Spanish club is a shambles at the moment. Ronald Koeman has a herculean task on his hands to help restore former glories but his treatment of a club immortal has not been an awful start.
Simply put, Barcelona should be ashamed of the utter disrespect with which Suarez was shown the door.
Now, the Barcelona big-wigs must watch on as a wealth of experience, a glut of goals and one-of-a-kind genius plies his trade for one of their biggest rivals.
It’s nothing short of bizarre that Barca would choose to ship him off to Atletico – direct challengers to their Spanish monopoly – but it’s a sign of just how eager they were to shuffle Suarez out of the pack.
Suarez deserves a statue at the Nou Camp. Unfortunately, he has become nothing more than collateral damage at a club lurching from one crisis to the next.
We can only hope that Atletico gives him the sort of glorious twilight years his incredible career so rightly deserves.