Lionel Messi: Luis Suarez posts heartfelt tribute to former Barcelona teammate

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The footballing world is slowly beginning to get used to the idea that Lionel Messi is no longer a Barcelona player.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner officially became a free agent at the end of June when his previous contract expired. Both Messi and the club, though, were keen to extend their 17-year association and a fresh deal was considered to be a formality - until Thursday evening.

The Blaugrana are currently in the midst of a financial crisis, with Financial Fair Play regulations meaning that they cannot register any newly-contracted players - including Messi.

When Barca couldn't find a way around the FFP restrictions, it was inevitable that the Argentina captain would have to depart the Camp Nou, much to the devastation of Barca fans.

However, it is not just the club's supporters that have been impacted by Messi's exit. Those who played alongside the 34-year-old genius in Catalonia have also begun to pay tribute to his phenomenal legacy at Barcelona.

Teammate Gerard Pique was first to post an emotional farewell message to Messi on social media - and he has now been followed by former colleague Luis Suarez.

Read more: Lionel Messi: Gerard Pique's farewell message is an absolute tearjerker

The Uruguayan penned some heartfelt words on Instagram in reaction to the news, highlighting just how much his relationship with Messi had meant to him.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

The pair struck up a devastating strike partnership over Suarez's six seasons at the Camp Nou, yielding four La Liga titles as well as a Champions League triumph in 2014-15.

"There are not enough words to tell THE STORY YOU WROTE at Barcelona. The club that saw you grow, the club that you love so much and for who you achieved so many titles until you became the best player ever," began Suarez, per the @BarcaTimes Twitter account.

"I will always be grateful for how you received me since I arrived [at Barcelona] because of what a great human being you are. Proud to have shared thousands of wonderful moments with you and be lucky enough to have played with you.

"I sincerely hope that what happens in the future is the best for you and your family. I love you so much," he concluded. 

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Which city was Lionel Messi born and raised?

Suarez left Barcelona last summer to join La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid. However, his friendship with Messi clearly remained strong following that move. A fantastic player on the pitch, Messi seems to be held in just as high a regard away from it as well. 

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