It should’ve been a time of reflection and celebration.
A time to look back on the six years that Luis Suarez has been at Barcelona, and remember him for the right reasons.
After all, the Uruguayan marksman leaves the club having become the third highest scorer in their history.Not only that, but Lionel Messi in particular has benefitted from plenty of assists from Barca’s now former No.9.
It’s acknowledged that his pace had slowed somewhat in the last year or so, but he was never the quickest in any event.
Age has certainly not wearied his goalscoring instincts either. Twenty-two were plundered in 2019/20, and most top-flight teams would take that from their centre-forward.
To that end, one might’ve expected Barcelona to make a real song and dance about his exit from the club.
There’s a saying about leaving through the front door rather than the back, and whilst Suarez did exit from the front, there wasn’t any of the pomp and circumstance that should’ve been afforded a player of his evident stature to the team.
It wasn’t lost on Messi, who wrote on his social media that ‘nothing surprises him anymore,’ in a veiled reference to Josep Maria Bartomeu and his board.
If anything, such a poor show from Barca has only deepened the rift with their No.10.
Barca supporters around the world will be desperate for the ongoing vote of no confidence to be successful as that would appear to be the only chance the club have of keeping Messi.
With a new president in situ, there’s an outside possibility that Messi could be persuaded to remain at the club until he wishes to retire.
Without one until next summer, there is little doubt that the Argentinian will walk out for free when his contract ends on June 30, 2021.
It’s often been alleged that there’s a ‘club de amigos’ within the dressing room, comprised of Messi, Suarez, Pique and other senior members of the first team at Barca, and that they, in some way, run things behind the scenes.
Not in an institutional sense, but the feeling of having to keep them happy in order to keep things ticking along successfully.
There’s never been any proof that such a clique exists, but assuming there is some truth to what have become persistent rumours, with Suarez being pushed out and refusing to be pictured with Bartomeu upon leaving, the next move from Messi or Pique will be an interesting one.