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Eric Abidal

Éric Sylvain Abidal (; born 11 September 1979) is a French association football who plays as a Defender (association football) Full back or Defender (association football) Centre back for FC Barcelona and the France national football team.

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Eric Abidal biography

Éric Sylvain Abidal (; born 11 September 1979) is a French association football who plays as a Defender (association football) Full back or Defender (association football) Centre back for FC Barcelona and the France national football team.

Club career

Abidal was trained at AS Lyon Duchère, a team playing in the suburbs of Lyon. Eric Abidal started Eric Abidal professional career with AS Monaco FC on 16 September 2000, where Eric Abidal made 25 first-team appearances. Eric Abidal moved to Lille OSC where Eric Abidal was reunited with Eric Abidal former manager Claude Puel and earned 62 first-team appearances. At the end of 2004, Eric Abidal returned to Eric Abidal native region by joining Olympique Lyonnais, which had just won its second successive Ligue 1 championship. During Eric Abidal time in France Eric Abidal was considered "one of the best fullbacks in the Ligue 1", self confidence of this title was shown when Lyon played Manchester United F.C.: "As a defender, my aim is to infuriate the opponent," Abidal explained. "I want Eric Abidal to be so sick of the sight of me that Eric Abidal has to move somewhere else on the pitch to get away." In the Olympique Lyonnais defence, Eric Abidal played alongside other French internationals (Grégory Coupet, François Clerc, and Anthony Réveillère) and two Brazilian internationals (Cristiano Marques Gomez and Caçapa).

On 17 January 2007, Abidal scored the first goal of Eric Abidal career in a 1–0 Lyon victory over Le Mans Union Club 72 on a 2006–07 Coupe de la Ligue Coupe de la Ligue 2006–07 Semi-Finals match. Later the same year, on 30 June, Abidal moved to FC Barcelona for €9 million, after repeatedly stating that Eric Abidal would not return to training if Eric Abidal did not get the move, signing a four-year contract and taking the 22 jersey, as the 20 Eric Abidal wore at Lyon was already taken by Deco. Barça president Joan Laporta also mentioned that Abidal's contract would contain a €90 million release clause, and that Lyon would receive an extra €500,000 if Barcelona win the UEFA Champions League in any of the next four seasons.

Abidal missed the 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, played against Manchester United F.C., due to picking up a red card in the semi-final against Chelsea F.C.. The referee deemed Abidal to have fouled fellow French International Nicolas Anelka, and denying a goal scoring opportunity, although video evidence suggests that any contact was minimal. Abidal was again questionably sent off in the next match Eric Abidal played, a league tie with Villarreal CF. The ensuing suspension meant that Eric Abidal missed the Copa del Rey final; Barcelona won with a 4–1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Eric Abidal continued to be first choice left back during Josep Guardiola's second season in charge, despite the arrival of Maxwell Cabelino Andrade from F.C. Internazionale Milano.

On 5 January 2011, Abidal scored Eric Abidal first goal with Barcelona at the San Mamés Stadium in a 2010-11 Copa del Rey Second leg 2 match against Athletic Bilbao. Eric Abidal goal meant that Barcelona could advance to the quarter-final due to the away goals rule.

On 16 January 2012, Abidal signed a renewed contract keeping Eric Abidal at the Camp Nou until 30 June 2013. Eric Abidal scored Eric Abidal second goal with Barcelona and the winning goal in a 2-1 win over Real Madrid C.F. in the first leg of the 2011-12 Copa del Rey First leg quarter-final match.

International career

Abidal has earned 60 cap (football) with the France national football team, having earned Eric Abidal debut cap on 18 August 2004. Despite numerous injuries and disagreements with FIFA in the past few seasons, Abidal played on the French team in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, starting at left back and playing every minute of the tournament with the exception of France's match against Togo national football team, from which Eric Abidal was suspended after earning two yellow cards over the previous two games. Mikaël Silvestre filled Abidal's left back slot for that game. When France and Italy national football team were forced into a Penalty shootout (football) in the Final, Eric Abidal was placed third in France's five shooters and scored, but since it was a penalty shootout, it is not recognised as a goal, and Abidal has yet to score for France properly.

Eric Abidal went on to become France coach Raymond Domenech's top choice for left-back in nearly every UEFA Euro 2008 qualifier. Abidal was chosen as centre back in their final group match of Euro 2008 against Italy, but Eric Abidal conceded a penalty and was sent off in the first half; France lost the match 2–0 and were eliminated from the tournament. Eric Abidal played the 2010 FIFA World Cup as a centre back.


On 15 March 2011, Barcelona announced that Abidal was diagnosed with a tumor on Eric Abidal liver. Eric Abidal had surgery on Eric Abidal liver on 17 March 2011. Citing privacy concerns as wished by the player, the club did not release additional information in regards to Eric Abidal condition. In response to the announcement, players and fans from all over the world alike dedicated well wishes for the ill player on multiple social networking sites and sports websites.

Before their 2010-11 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match in the Champions League both Real Madrid and Olympique Lyonnais players exited into the pitch wearing Ánimo Abidal (Strength Abidal) t-shirts along with the same message on the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium scoreboards in show of support and solidarity.

During Barcelona's match against Getafe CF on 19 March, the fans at the stadium clapped for the entire 22nd minute, which is Abidal's shirt number for Barcelona, as a respectful moment for him.

On 28 May 2011, Barcelona beat Manchester United F.C. 3–1 to win the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final. Abidal played the whole game. In a moving gesture to mark Eric Abidal recovery, Abidal's teammates gave Eric Abidal the captain's armband as well as allowing Eric Abidal to be the first in the team to raise the trophy in front of 85,000 people at Wembley Stadium in London.


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