KEY POINTS

  • Luis Suarez talked about Lionel Messi and the legacy he left behind at Barcelona ahead of his Atletico Madrid debut
  • Suarez said he has moved on and is ready for a new chapter in his career
  • Atletico manager Diego Simeone plans to hand Suarez his debut on Sunday's match with Granada

Ahead of his Atletico Madrid debut, Luis Suarez shared his thoughts on former teammate Lionel Messi and the legacy he left behind at Barcelona.

After six seasons and 13 trophies with Barcelona, Suarez joined Atletico Madrid Wednesday after being deemed expendable by new Barca coach Ronald Koeman. Despite the drama surrounding his Camp Nou exit, with captain Messi getting involved, the Uruguayan striker said he has moved on and is now ready for a new journey with Atleti, Goal reported.

"Leo [Messi] knows me well and is well aware of my level of conviction. It's a source of pride to be able to leave a positive legacy behind me," Suarez told reporters in a recent press conference. "I've now moved on and joining this competitive side is a major motivation."

The 33-year-old striker, who tallied 21 goals in 36 appearances for Barca last season, is just moments away from making his Atletico debut. Diego Simeone is keen on deploying Suarez as soon as possible and plans to hand him his first Atleti appearance this La Liga season on Sunday when they face Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Yahoo Sports reported. 

"His teammates want to make him settle in as quickly as possible so his goals and game can help us win,” the Atletico coach said during his pre-match press conference. "[Suarez] seems to be so motivated and excited and of course he will be in the squad, available for the team. Tomorrow we will see if he starts or comes on in the second half." 

Simeone acknowledged Suarez’s impeccable career with Barcelona and said he is happy about his arrival at Atletico. He added that the prolific goal scorer will bring "new energy" to the team.

"His arrival is an opportunity for us to keep growing as a club and to have new energy as a team," the manager added. "We spoke before he went to Barcelona at a time when the possibility came up that he might join us. The last six years he's had have been incredibly successful."

Prior to joining Atletico, Suarez was heavily linked to Juventus for weeks and even went through the process of acquiring Italian citizenship.

Teammates no more: Luis Suarez struck up a strong friendship with Lionel Messi at Barcelona, but the Urugayan's transfer to Atletico Madrid has been confirmed Teammates no more: Luis Suarez struck up a strong friendship with Lionel Messi at Barcelona, but the Urugayan has now moved to Atletico Madrid Photo: AFP / PAU BARRENA