Lionel Messi’s fight with Barcelona escalates over Luis Suarez’s exit

Things are only getting Messi-er with Barcelona.

Lionel Messi decided to stay with the team and not bring them to court over his wish to leave on a free transfer in August, but Barcelona didn’t help its cause this week when it transferred his best friend in the room, Luis Suarez, to Atletico Madrid.

“It will be strange to see you in another shirt and even stranger to play against you,” Messi wrote on Instagram on Friday.

“You deserved to depart for who you are: one of the most important players in the club’s history, winning things as part of a group and individually. Not for them to kick you out as they have done. But the truth is nothing surprises me anymore.”

Suarez had been willing to accept a backup role to stay with Barcelona, but the club still got rid of him after new coach Ronald Koeman told him he wasn’t part of his plans, according to ESPN.

It served as just the latest wrench in the relationship between Messi and Barcelona. The superstar had planned on exercising a clause in his contract that would release him from his deal, but the club argued that he had missed the deadline in June to do so. Messi then said in September he would be staying with Barcelona because the team’s president told him the only way he could leave was by paying the $823 million clause to get out of his contract, according to

Messi wasn’t alone in expressing his displeasure with the way Barcelona handled Suarez’s departure.

“It’s unbelievable how they do things,” Brazillian star Neymar, who played with Barcelona for three seasons, wrote on Messi’s Instagram post, per ESPN.

Suarez still had Messi’s back during a news conference Thursday.

“I have to accept it if the club decides it is time that I go, just like the club should accept it if a player wants to leave,” Suarez said, according to the Associated Press.