An emotional Luis Suarez had to wipe away the tears as he delivered a farewell message to the fans, team-mates and coaching staff who have supported him during his time at Barcelona ahead of his move to Atletico Madrid.
The 33-year-old striker scored 198 goals in 283 games across his six-year stay at the Nou Camp, helping Barcelona win the Champions League, four La Liga titles, four Spanish Cups and two Spanish Super Cups.
New head coach Ronald Koeman made it clear Suarez did not fit with his plans for the new season and the forward initially looked set for a move to Serie A champions Juventus.
But Suarez will instead put pen to paper on an £8million-a-year deal with Barca’s rivals Atleti after the club agreed to terminate his contract a year early.
Suarez left Barca’s training ground in tears after saying goodbye to his team-mates on Wednesday and there were more waterworks this morning as he spoke to the media at a farewell press conference.
‘It’s such a surprise, I didn’t really have anything prepared,’ the Uruguay international said.
‘I want to say that the club has already had so much confidence in me since 2014 when they signed me.
‘In the conditions that I came here that surrounded me with the mistake that I made, but the confidence that they always had in me – it wasn’t always easy to accept this.
‘The coaches and my team-mates, the way they accepted me when I came, it was amazing.
‘And other people know the sacrifice that I’ve made in these years to come to Barcelona and play for the best team in the world.
‘I’m aware that we’re at the end of an era and that I should be very proud of everything I’ve done.’
‘I leave many friends here. A human being who has feelings is leaving,’ he continued.
‘Thanks to my family, who are the ones who have endured and lived through everything with me.
The have enjoyed the good times with them and they have encouraged me in the bad times. But I have good memories.
‘May my children see me lift trophies and score goals, may they see me next to the best in history.
‘Many Thanks also to the staff. They will always have one more culé wherever they are.’