The clubs have announced that the move is official, as the prolific striker says goodbye to the Camp Nou and hello to the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atlético Madrid have signed striker Luis Suárez from Barcelona, the Spanish clubs said on Wednesday, bringing to an end his six-year stint at the Camp Nou.
Suárez moves to Barcelona rivals Atlético
Barça’s statement said Atlético will pay the Catalans six million euros ($7 million) in bonus payments to sign the 33-year-old.
The Uruguay striker, who became Barça’s third all-time top scorer, had a year left on his contract with the club.
Suárez will replace Álvaro Morata in Atlético’s front line after the Spanish striker was loaned to Juventus for a season with an option to buy.
Suárez, who joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2014, leaves the club having won the Champions League, four La Liga titles and four Copa del Rey trophies. He scored 198 goals for the club in all competitions.
The Uruguayan was deemed surplus to requirements by new manager Ronald Koeman, who is keen on changing the old guard and rebuilding the squad, with 33-year-old midfielder Arturo Vidal also completing a permanent move to Inter Milan.
Suárez becomes the third striker in recent years to switch between the two LaLiga clubs after David Villa was sold to Atletico in 2013 while Antoine Griezmann moved to Barca last year.
While Villa became an instant hit, scoring 13 goals in Atlético’s 2013-14 league title-winning campaign, Griezmann has yet to hit the same heights at Barca following his 120 million euros ($140.86 million) move.
Flirtation with Italy’s Old Lady
Suárez had also been linked with Serie A side Juventus and took an Italian exam in an attempt to get an EU passport to be eligible to play as a European player as the Turin side’s non-EU player slots were already filled.
However, Italian prosecutors said on Tuesday they had evidence the language exam taken by Suárez to obtain Italian citizenship was rigged.