Ronald Koeman felt Lionel Messi’s angry response to Luis Suarez’s Barcelona exit made “sense”, but insists the Uruguay striker left of his own accord.
The turbulence at Barca became arguably the biggest saga of the pre-season anywhere in European football, with Messi attempting to force an exit after Suarez had been put up for sale, and Koeman replacing Quique Setien in the wake of their 8-2 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich.
While Messi ultimately accepted that leaving was an impossibility despite being convinced a get-out clause in his contract was still valid, Suarez was sold to Atletico Madrid for just €6million.
Suarez’s exit coincided with his close friend Messi posting an emotional farewell message on his official Instagram account in which he publicly slammed Barca’s treatment of the former Liverpool striker.
And although Koeman said the outburst was understandable, he was keen to stress that no one forced Suarez out.
“If you have someone in the locker room whom you and your wife and children also hang out with outside football, then such a reaction makes sense,” Koeman told NOS. (Vanguard)