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Barca Defender Abidal Set To Undergo Liver Transplant

Some sad news emerging from Catalan club FC Barcelona states that their defender Eric Abidal is set to undergo a liver transplant in the coming weeks. This is the second time in a year that the Frenchman will be going under the knife for liver complications.

Last March, Abidal made a remarkable recovery from liver surgery to play in the Champions League final against Manchester United. Barcelona went on to win the match 3-1 with Abidal having the honours of receiving the trophy from UEFA president Michel Platini.

A statement on the club’s officail website reads:

“In the upcoming weeks, the player will undergo a liver transplant in light of the evolution of his liver,”

“The transplant has been an option right from the start of his treatment a year ago.  At the request of the player, Barcelona ask for discretion and the utmost respect for the player’s privacy.”

Following the announce tributes poured in from players and fans alike with many wishing him a speedy recovery. Barca captain Carles Puyol was the first of his team mates to react saying that the entire team was behind Abidal.

“The main thing now is for Abidal to recover,” Puyol said at a press conference on Thursday.

“The team is united; we’ll stand by his side. His attitude is an example for us.”

In spite of this, Abidal who is considered a hero in Barcelona, has always maintained that he desires to finish his career with the Catalan giants. The 32 year old put pen to paper earlier this year when he signed a new contract that would see him stay with the club until 2013 although the deal could be extended until 2015.

Abidal has made 35 appearances scoring one goal for the Catalans this season and he is expected to feature no more in their plans at least until he fully recovers from his condition. In fact, Abidal’s last taste of action came in France’s 2-1 win over Germany on February 29th.

The French national team medical staff have been notified of  the players latest setback and as such he won’t be part of  Laurent Blanc’s 23 man squad to the Euro finals this summer.

Meanwhile, in other Barcelona news, Coach Pep Guardiola has given his defender Sergio Busquets the green light to feature in Spain’s Olympic squad. The 23 year old is expected to receive the nod from Spain’s Olympic chief Luis Milla after national team coach Vicente Del Bosque handed him the responsibility.

Busquets who will be 24 at the time will serve as one of the team’s three overage players.

photo credit © PhotoAS