Eric Abidal Visits Local Hospital, Gives £20,000 Rolex Watch To Young Cancer Sufferer

Alan Duffy

24th, January 2012


By Alan Duffy

Forget the roasting and the racism, the diving and the drinking, sometimes footballers can actually be rather nice. And there seems to be no nicer chap in the world of football right now than Barcelona’s Eric Abidal.

The 32-year-old French defender, who recovered from liver cancer himself, recently visited a local hospital in Barcelona and was particularly moved by one patient, 15-year-old Juan Garcia. The teenager, who is battling cancer, broke down in tears when Abidal came to visit, prompting the French international to present him with his Rolex watch as a gift.

The boys’s father, J Garcia Serra, recounted the incident to local newspaper, The Herald, saying:

“It was impossible to get Eric to take the watch back. He told me: ‘It doesn’t matter what this is worth. I want your son to be happy.”

“He embraced all of us and continued his visit to other sick children. I looked at my son, and I will never forget the look of happiness in his face. I’d forgotten what he looked like when he was happy. At night he kept switching on the light to look at the watch’s inscription.

“The visit of the players improved the spirit of the children more than any medicine. For my family the great idol will always be Eric Abidal; he is more than a player for us.”

Apparently the watch was worth £20,000 and may have been a limited edition timepiece given to each member of the Barcelona squad at the end of last season.

Whatever the origin of the watch, Abidal’s gesture highlights the fact that not all footballers are overpaid, arrogant and selfish. Only some of them.

Posted in Barcelona, La Liga

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  1. Andy F says:

    Well, I think this is just a healthy reminder that there are good guys in football. Also, it’s a sign of the generosity that runs through the Barcelona squad. I’m particularly thinking of Puyol giving up his armband to Abidal at Wembley. How many players, given the chance to lift their third European Cup, would have passed it up to someone else?

  2. B says:

    What is a 15 year old kid gonna do with a watch. Give him a $20 000 gift voucher or even a playstation

  3. syndex says:

    Class player, class bloke by the sounds

  4. kct says:

    wow, I’m genuinely touched by this.

  5. Aresenesbrasso says:

    @ B

    If the kid hangs on to the watch for a few years it’ll quadruple in value. He can sell it & have a seriously nice nest egg.

  6. Alex says:

    @ Aresenesbrasso

    Are you serious? yes, maybe if he invests those profits right and is smart about it he’ll be the next Warren Buffet.

    .. or he’s dying of cancer

  7. MaxMad says:

    @ B / Aresenesbrasso

    A watch is something a real man walks around with. Even if it were to become more valuable over time, I can’t see why he should sell it. Many people spend thousands on new watches, and this kid just got a limited edition Rolex? I’d say keep it in the family.

    And what the hell, he’s clearly thrilled by receiving the watch! Even turning on the lights at night just to look at it. There’s no reason in the world he should’ve received cash instead. That’s not as meaningful in any way. Just a reason to go spend it on something that he won’t hold on to for a lifetime – unlike the watch.

  8. mcfc says:

    @ maxmad – if you think you need a watch on your wrist to be a real man then you’ll never be a real man.
    @ andy f – you’re right that barcelona in general seem like grand lads except for busquets on the pitch and pique off it (the spitting and the peanut-throwing)

  9. Mr. Sparkle says:

    “Abidal’s gesture highlights the fact that not all footballers are overpaid, arrogant and selfish. Only some of them.”

    Abidal is more of an exception, the majority of topflight footballers are as greedy and selfish as the cunts on Wall Street.

  10. Ryan says:

    Rolex’s are forever. You pass those down. Class.

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