Backed by superstar friend, the Uruguayan striker was happy with the legacy he left at Camp Nou.

Luis Suarez said he was proud after being defended by Lionel Messi following his move from Barcelona to their La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid.

Suarez, 33, joined Atletico in a €6 million move this week after six trophy-laden seasons at Camp Nou.

His close friend and Barcelona star Messi slammed the Catalan giants on Friday, saying Suarez was “kicked out” and “nothing surprises” him anymore.

Suarez, who won 13 trophies at Barca, said he was proud to have left such a positive impression.

“Leo knows me well and is well aware of my level of conviction. It’s a source of pride to be able to leave a positive legacy behind me,” he told reporters.

“I’ve now moved on and joining this competitive side is a major motivation.”

Suarez scored 21 goals in 36 games last season, but new Barca coach Ronald Koeman had no room for the Uruguayan as he rebuilds the Blaugrana.

The forward said joining another big club in Spain was a huge motivation for him.

“The motivation of coming to a great from Spain, Atleti is,” Suarez said.

“It has great players, a competitive block that always fights to be at the top and for the league.

“The fans and the coach [Diego Simeone] motivate a lot too.”

Former Uruguay international Sebastian Abreu expects Suarez to thrive at Wanda Metropolitano under the guidance of a fellow fiery South American, Argentine coach Simeone, and believes he has found another perfect fit after six memorable years in Catalunya.

“I was happy to hear about Suarez’s move because [now] Luis can have clear objectives,” Abreu told Radio MARCA. “He’s saying goodbye to something as amazing and exciting as his spell at Barcelona.

“It alters his initial [career] plans a bit but doesn’t change them [completely]. That self-esteem has to come out.

“It’s going to take 30 seconds [for him to settle in at Atletico] once he meets Cholo face to face. As soon as Simeone puts that venom of passion across – 30 seconds looking eye to eye.”

Atletico begin their 2020-21 season at home to Granada on Sunday.


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