Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (C) takes on Elche's Nuke Mfulu (R) during the 55th Joan Gamper Trophy on Sept. 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Joan Gosa)

Lionel Messi has slammed FC Barcelona for disposing of his friend and strike partner Luis Suarez.

MADRID, Sept. 25 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi on Friday launched a stinging criticism of the club's board of directors for their treatment of Luis Suarez.

Messi's fresh attack comes after he was forced into a U-turn following his request to leave Barca this summer, but issued a communique accusing club president Josep Maria Bartomeu of going back on his promise to allow him to leave.

This Friday saw Messi publish a 'goodbye' letter for Suarez, his friend and strike partner for the past six seasons, who this week signed for Atletico Madrid after scoring 198 goals for Barca.

In his letter published on social media, Messi said that Suarez had been "thrown out" by FC Barcelona.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring with Luis Suarez during a La Liga match against Atletico Madrid on Dec. 1, 2019.

"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," commented Messi on social media.

"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... I had already begun to imagine it but today I went into the dressing room and it truly dawned on me. It's going to be so difficult not to continue to share every day with you both on the pitch and away from it," the Argentinian wrote.

Messi's criticism comes just two days before Barca kick off their La Liga campaign with a home game against Villarreal on Sunday night, and will not help his relationship with new coach Ronald Koeman, who called Suarez to tell him he was no longer needed. ■

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