“What really bothered me was that they told me that I was old and that I could no longer play at the top level, be part of a great team. That’s what displeased me,” the striker said, reflecting on his summer transfer.
Suárez is now tied with Lionel Messi for the top scorer award as Atlético lead La Liga.
“On the one hand, this change was welcome because, after everything I had experienced at Barça, and given the way it went, I wanted to change,” he said.
Reportedly, Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman phoned Suárez to inform him the striker was not a part of his plans for the upcoming season.
“The hardest part is when you have a family that for six years has been used to living in the same place. Having to explain to my children that we are going to change when they have their friends and their habits in Barcelona, that was the most difficult.
“All the more so during a pandemic, with the current difficulties, in particular to socialize with people here, in Madrid. This complicates things, it’s impossible to do extra-curricular activities with the children, we have to stay at home. They miss their friends, as they miss my wife’s family in Barcelona.
“But you also have to see the positive side: I was not going to be happy where people no longer wanted me. Now my family feels that I am happy and that is the main thing,” he said.
Atlético are relying on the 34-year-old striker to keep delivering the goods in their bid to beat Real Madrid and Barcelona to another Spanish league title under Diego Simeone.
“What is essential is the mind. It’s very important to be strong in your head and to feel that you have the means to turn around difficult situations. It has always been one of my characteristics: I never gave up, even when I was going through difficult times.
“It is this character that pushed me to come to this team which is fighting for important things. One of my motivations was to be able to show that you still have to count on me. It is a question of self-esteem. After all these years at Barça, I wanted to show that I can still be useful at the highest level, within the Spanish elite,” Suárez said,