Abidal Starts Life Anew

By Parvez Fatteh, Founder of http://sportingummah.com, sports@muslimobserver.com

AbidalFrench soccer star Eric Abidal has had a rough couple of years. He was a starting defender with Spanish giants Barcelona, but came crashing down to earth after being diagnosed with liver cancer. He ultimately underwent a liver transplant last April, ruling him out of the 2012 European Championship and keeping him out of soccer for an entire year. He returned to make a few appearances for Barcelona before leaving to join Monaco this past summer.

Abidal admits to being sad to have left Barcelona. “The problem was that my contract was coming to an end. In that case, either it’s renewed, either it ends. I was prepared for both,” Abidal said in an interview with the French newspaper L’Equipe. “It was hard to accept but you don’t have the choice. The adventure with Barcelona is over, but I’m very happy to have started another one with Monaco.”

But more startling was Abidal’s account of his final days with Barcelona. “What was hard to understand was what Barcelona said during my last press conference. By saying that it was a professional choice, it made other clubs doubt,” Abidal said. “It wasn’t even a question of money. The proof being that all the months I was ill, the club didn’t pay me. Now I’m lucky to have the trust of the Monaco coach and president. Touch wood, everything’s fine. But it’s true that there was a time when I doubted myself.”

More uplifting was Abidal’s experience with one of his ex-teammates. Abidal revealed recently that his former Barcelona team-mate Dani Alves had offered him part of his liver when he needed a transplant last year. Abidal told Catalunya Radio that Dani Alves, “wanted to give me his liver but it couldn’t be” because it would have hurt the Brazillian’s playing ability. Abidal’s cousin ended up donating him part of his liver.”The story with Dani goes beyond the jersey,” Abidal said. “He knows it. Me too. We are friends and we talk about everything. He wanted to support me. And besides, he’s a very good person. He was my neighbour and his ex-wife and my wife are friends.”


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