Former Barca star reveals his close ties from the club.Check in to PSG vs Monaco
Monaco defender Eric Abidal has said that his former teammate at Barcelona, Dani Alves, wanted to give him part of his liver when he needed a transplant last year, the Guardian reports.
The France international had to undergo a second operation last year, his second in the space of two years, and has revealed that his close friendship with his right-sided defensive colleague yielded a very special offer.
Abidal told Catalunya Radio that Dani Alves, who now wears Abidal’s old number 22 shirt; “[he] wanted to give me his liver but it couldn’t be.”
Club doctors refused to sanction the procedure because it would have hurt the Brazilian’s ability to play. The former Lyon defender’s cousin ended up stepping forward to donate 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.”
The 34-year-old was forced to undergo a second operation that kept him out of the game for a year, but he returned to the Catalan side for their final few games of the season before returning to France with Monaco, who he now captains.
Abidal also said his statement to the French press claiming that he was upset with his treatment by Barcelona when they decided not to renew his contract was a “misunderstanding”. He had told French newspaper L’Equipe that Barcelona had not paid his salary while he was ill, but the club denied that in a statement.
“I have no problem with Barcelona,” Abidal said on Sunday. “Everything was agreed to and what Barca said was true and what I said was also true. There isn’t any problem. Not with [president] Sandro Rosell, not with [sports director Andoni] Zubizarreta, not with [former coach Tito] Vilanova, not with the fans. Everything is fine. I will return to Barcelona with the same joy I have always had.”
Abidal also confirmed that he would take up Barcelona’s offer to return as director of their football schools when his playing career finally comes to an end.