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Barcelona still has a special place in Luis Suarez’s heart despite departure

Barcelona v Liverpool – UEFA Champions League – Semi Final – First Leg – Camp Nou
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Luis Suarez insisted he will always remain a Barcelona fan in an emotional farewell press conference.

Barca announced on Wednesday that they had reached agreement with LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid for the 33-year-old striker.

“I want all the Culers (Barca fans) to know that I’ll always be one more Culer, regardless of where I am,” Suarez said on Barca TV.

“Thank you to all the fans for everything they have done supporting me, cheering me on from day one.

“The support I have had from everyone inside the Camp Nou, from the staff, a massive effort from everyone and this is so important to me and will always stay with me.”

Amid all the upheaval at Barca this summer surrounding Lionel Messi’s future, it emerged that Suarez did not feature in the plans of head coach Ronald Koeman, who replaced Quique Setien in August.

Suarez had appeared set to join Italian champions Juventus, but a move to Turin collapsed after complications over the Uruguayan’s passport application.

Barcelona signed Suarez from Liverpool in July 2014 for £74million, shortly after he had been banned for four months by FIFA for biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup in Brazil.

“I want to say that the club has always had such confidence in me since 2014 when they signed me,” Suarez said.

“And the conditions (in which) I came and the mistake that I made, but they surrounded me with the confidence that they always had in me. It wasn’t easy to accept this.

“The coaches and my team-mates, the way they accepted me when I came, it was amazing.”

Suarez, hugely popular among the club’s fans and in the dressing room, is third in Barca’s all-time scoring list, with 198 goals in 283 games in all competitions.

He won 13 major trophies during his six seasons at Camp Nou, including four LaLiga titles, four Copa del Reys and the Champions League.

“All the people know the sacrifice I’ve made in these years to come to Barcelona and to play for the best team in the world,” he added.

“I’m aware that we’re at the end of an era, that I should be very proud of everything that we’ve done.”