Jordi Alba has branded Barcelona’s decision to sell Luis Suarez to Atletico Madrid as “a joke” while admitting his ex-team-mate has “shut a lot of mouths” at Wanda Metropolitano.
Suarez completed a €6 million move to Atletico from Barca last summer, bringing to an end his trophy-laden six-year career at Camp Nou.
The Uruguayan was deemed surplus to requirements in Catalunya due to his age, but the 34-year-old proved he is still sharp as a tack in front of goal by firing the Los Rojoblancos to their first La Liga title in seven years last term.
Alba has now openly expressed his belief that Barca were wrong to offload Suarez, particularly to one of their main adversaries in the Spanish top flight and for such a low fee.
“It was a joke,” the Blaugrana full-back told Cadena SER: “He is someone who gave a lot to Barcelona, and they practically gave him away for nothing, above all to a direct rival in Atletico.
“And look, they went on to win the league with him. I didn’t like it. Aside from the friendship we have, where are you going to find a striker like him?
“It is difficult to find one. Yes, there are some very good players, but what Luis gave us…”
Alba added on Suarez’s impressive debut campaign with Atletico: “He won the league and shut a lot of mouths. His last year wasn’t easy at Barca, and he has had the chance to shut some people up.
“I can tell you that the atmosphere [at Barca] with Luis was spectacular. He is a guy that works hard, that was great for the group, and the numbers speak for themselves.
“He is the third-highest goalscorer in Barca’s history.”
Barca snapped Suarez up from Liverpool back in 2014, and he quickly became a cult hero among supporters for his dynamic style of play and deadly finishing in the final third.
The Uruguayan contributed a grand total of 195 goals and 113 assists to the Blaugrana’s cause in 283 appearances, helping them win 13 trophies, including four La Liga titles and the Champions League.
Diego Simeone thrust Suarez straight into his starting XI upon his arrival at Wanda Metropolitano, and he was rewarded for his faith in the forward as he inspired Atletico’s swift rise to the top of the La Liga standings.
The Los Rojoblancos fought off late challenges from Real Madrid and Barca to win the domestic crown, with Suarez finishing the season with 21 goals to his name from 32 outings.