Luis Suarez has signed a two-year deal with Atletico Madrid after passing his medical with the club on Friday, following his switch from La Liga rivals Barcelona.
Suarez, 33, joined Atletico on a free transfer after Barca agreed to rescind his contract with one year left although the Madrid side will pay the Catalans up to six million euros in bonuses.
“With the arrival of Suarez, Atletico gets a great goalscorer with a wealth of experience in Europe who has always been characterised for his commitment on the pitch and considered one of the best in the world in his position,” said Atleti’s statement.
Suarez, who scored 16 La Liga goals for Barca last season, took his first training session with Atletico on Friday and could make his debut in Sunday’s home match against Granada.
Lionel Messi ended speculation about his future at Barcelona by announcing on Friday that he would reluctantly stay for another season rather than tackle his career-long club in court.
A week after saying he wanted to leave the Liga side, and with a contract row still raging, the 33-year-old six-time player of the year gave the news Barca fans were hoping for.
In doing so, however, the Argentine forward took a big swipe at the club’s hierarchy.
“I wasn’t happy and I wanted to leave. I have not been allowed this in any way and I will STAY at the club so as not to get into a legal dispute,” he was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
“The management of the club led by (president Josep Maria) Bartomeu is a disaster.
“I told the club, the president in particular, that I wanted to leave. They knew this since the start of the past season. I told them during all (of the) last 12 months. But I will stay here because I don’t want to start a legal war.”
By remaining at the Catalan club for the fourth and final year of his contract Messi is in line for a 63 million pounds ($83.38 million) loyalty bonus and will be able to leave without a transfer fee.