It’s generally accepted that players leaving a club is always going to be part of football, but it’s very important to treat your stars with class.
That’s especially true for Barcelona when it comes to Luis Suarez, especially when he was so good for so long at the Nou Camp.
The fans already have plenty of reasons to turn against the club due to the board making some horrendous decisions behind the scenes, so letting Suarez go to Atletico Madrid was a bold move.
There were reports for weeks that Koeman wanted Suarez to go and everything points to the player being forced out the door, but it looks like the Barca manager is trying to go into damage limitation mode.
A report from Goal has indicated that Koeman said Suarez could’ve stayed at Barca to prove him wrong:
“In the case of Suarez, it had become very difficult for him to start playing and I made that known to him. He found it difficult, but I never had any trouble with him at all,”
“He trained normally, trained well. He finally made the choice to leave and I said: ‘If you don’t leave, for whatever reason, then you are just one of the group, then you can prove that I was wrong.”
It’s clear that Koeman was trying to belittle Suarez and the plan was to get him out of the club, but the backlash has been strong and Suarez has done a fine job of winning the PR war.
This looks like a case of trying to re-write history from Barca’s point of view, but it’s unlikely that the fans will see things that way.