Tearful Abidal says farewell to Barcelona

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Tearful Abidal says farewell to Barcelona

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Eric Abidal is ending his six-year spell at Barcelona.

The former France left-back fought back tears as he announced he will be leaving the Nou Camp at the end of the season when his contract expires.

The popular 33-year-old defender battled his way back into the squad after a liver transplant last year but is now considered surplus to requirement.

He was joined on stage by club president Sandro Rosell and sports director Andoni Zubizarreta who praised him for his bravery in adversity.

“I had two main goals. The first was to fight for my two daughters, to see them growing up and to be at my wife’s side. The second was to play. I would’ve liked to have stayed and played on here but the club saw it differently and I have to respect their decision,” said Abidal.

During his time at Barca, they won four La Liga titles, two Champions League crowns and two King’s Cup.

And Barcelona say when he retires their doors will be open to Abidal to return to the club as technical director of the youth academy.

Abidal was supported at the event by the Barca coaching staff and squad including players in the front row such as Gerard Pique, Carles Puyol, Xavi and Victor Valdes who is also set to announce he will leave the club.

Champions Barca finish their campaign at home to Malaga on Saturday when a victory would see them match La Liga’s record of 100 points.