Eric Abidal is one of the famous names in the world of football. He is a French player who plays as a defender.
Abidal, as what he is usually called, was born on September 11, 1979, in Lyon, France. Apart from playing as a left-back defender, Abidal who has a quite tall posture, which is 186 cm, also played as a central defender or stopper.
Abidal began his professional career with AS Monaco in 2000. After having two seasons with Monaco, Abidal then moved to Lille and played for the club until the summer of 2004.
In July 2004, Abidal decided to move to the French giant, Lyon. In his two seasons with Lyon, Abidal also led the club to win the French League.
His tough and unyielding style made Abidal was getting much attention from other European clubs.
And right in 2007, Abidal decided to start his career in Spain. At that time, he joined FC Barcelona.
At Barcelona, Abidal led Barca to the 2008/09 European Champions League final in Rome, Italy. But unfortunately, he could not appear in the final because he received a red card during the match against Chelsea in the semi-final phase.
After successfully playing in the club he had defended, the coach of the French national team, Raymond Domenech, made Abidal as his main choice during the Euro 2008 qualification. In the 2010 World Cup, Abidal had to accept the fact that the French national team failed in the group phase.
Behind his brilliant career, Abidal has an unforgettable story. Despite being the part of FC Barcelona’s success story in 2009, Abidal also felt the pride of being a captain and lifting the Champions League trophy.
The heartwarming moment occurred in 2011 when El Barca successfully became the champion in the final match held at Wembley.
The FC Barcelona captain at that time, Carles Puyol, gave his armband to Abidal who had just recovered from liver cancer. For months, Abidal had to leave football in order to get several treatments before finally being allowed to perform again.
Puyol gave his appreciation for the great performance shown by his teammate.
Abidal had indeed never been a captain for La Blaugrana. But in that final match, Abidal’s appearance was very inspiring like a captain. Through his neat appearance during the match, Abidal also seemed to confirm his victory against the cancer disease he suffered.
Abidal had struggled a lot against the disease. He had undergone various treatments until he had to rest for a long time.
Although he had raised up, Abidal, again, got another problem. The tragedy hit him again in March 2012, through the shocking news. This Frenchman had to go back to get some treatments due to his unresolved complications from his first operation a year before.
Abidal was forced to ‘retire’ for 402 days because he had to undergo a liver transplant operation.
The most influential figure during Abidal’s recovery was his cousin, Gerard. Gerard donated his heart to Abidal so that he could return to pursue his dream in the football world.
“Thanks to my cousin, because without him I would not be here. This is such a unique moment,”
“I want to thank everyone, friends, and fans, especially my cousin, also to those I met at the hospital,” Eric Abidal said to Canal +
With his illness, Abidal became the most respected figure in the football world. He got a lot of support, not only from FC Barcelona. Their rivals, Real Madrid, also supported Abidal while he was lying weakly in the hospital.
An electronic board at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium even wrote special support for Eric Abidal’s quick recovery.
Successfully defeating his illness, Abidal really grew to become a champion figure. The Champions League trophy was a symbol of the greatest victory in his life.
After freed from his illness, Abidal also sent a message of enthusiasm and support for cancer sufferers to fight their illness as what he had also done.
“I want them to keep fighting. Never stop fighting because there is always hope. We, with the help of others, should continuously pray to God, because without them, we cannot do anything,” Abidal said.