Despite Overcoming Liver Cancer And Returning To Action, Eric Abidal Is Released By Barcelona

Alan Duffy

30th, May 2013


By Alan Duffy

Spain Soccer Abidal

French defender Eric Abidal made a tearful goodbye to his club Barcelona at a press conference on Thursday after the Catalan club decided not to extend his contract past the end of this season (there’s still one game to go in La Liga).

The 33-year-old had battled back from a liver tumour which resulted in the player undergoing a liver transplant and had returned to competitive action in April. However, with the Barcelona hierarchy eager to revitalise their ageing backline, Abidal has been let go.

He said:

“Football for me is a passion since I was a child. I don’t see myself quitting now. I have made all this effort to come back to play football. My health is better now. When my body tells me to stop I will hang up the boots.”

“I would have liked to keep on playing here, but the club sees it differently and I have to respect that.”

Spain Soccer Abidal

Abidal shakes hands with his teammates at the press conference

The club itself has not, as yet, given their reasons for parting company with the left-sided defender, who has spent six highly successful seasons at the Camp Nou.

However, a return to the club in a coaching capacity, after his playing career ends, looks likely with Abidal adding:

“I am going but I am sure that I will be back. I have a very interesting offer from the club that I will have to think about.”

A fine player with bags of experience (and trophies) under his belt, would he be a decent addition to a Premier League squad for a year or so?

(Photos: PA)

Posted in Barcelona, La Liga, Newsnow, Transfers & Rumours

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  1. Herman says:

    Shameful behaviour by Barcelona.

  2. Luke says:

    Good player, nearing the end of his career – probably deserves to be playing more often. A club that wants younger players to come through…

    Hardly shocking.

  3. Si says:

    @Herman – pray tell, how is this shameful behaviour from Barcelona?

    They have supported him during his two long-drawn battles against cancer, paying for his very expensive treatment, as well as paying his wages. It also sounds like he has now been offered a coaching role.

    They cannot keep him on the books forever as a player and the likelihood is that, given that he is a fan and player favourite, there are reasons for getting rid at this stage that we are not aware of.

    I would suggest that Luke has hit the nail on the head.

  4. Milkchew says:

    Lets face it, would you want to play professional football after a liver transplant? Or more apt would you expect to be the same player? I for one hope he does not come to the Premier League, imagine Ryan Shawcross flying in with a waist height liver shredding tackle on the poor guy.

  5. Ha! says:

    What Herman said…just the EXACT opposite.

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