New Barca boss Ronald Koeman quickly decided that he did not count on Suarez in his vision for the club, with the Catalan side’s hierarchy happy to shift his enormous salary off the wage bill.
He had been heavily linked with a move to Italian champions Juventus, as well as old club Ajax, though preferred to stay in Spain and jumped at the chance to work under Diego Simeone at Atletico.
The move was made official late last night with Suarez given an official farewell press conference by Barcelona on Thursday in which he was visibly emotional about having to leave Camp Nou.
Suarez forged a number of bonds at the club, on and off the pitch, and became particularly close with Messi, who is not entirely comfortable about having to face off against the Uruguayan this season – though Suarez insists their relationship will be survive.
Speaking at the press conference, Suarez said: ‘Leo knows what I think and I know what he thinks. We are old enough to give each other advice.
‘Leo felt strange because I’m going to a direct rival, but nothing will change our relationship. I have already faced Leo with the national team so this will not change our relationship.’
He added: ‘Everyone knows about the relationship we have.
‘When you arrive at Barca they tell you, “Be careful with Leo, he’s different”. Many things are invented. I’m very proud.’
Before making his final decision to join Atletico, Suarez revealed he spoke to Barca teammate Antoine Griezmann and compatriot and Uruguay teammate Diego Godin about the club.
He continued: ‘I have spoken with Diego and Antoine. I am leaving with great enthusiasm and expectations.
‘Atletico have always been fighting for La Liga and that reflects that they are a competitive and ambitious team. I hope to achieve something important with my new team.’